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Dutchy357

Does the term Pack Knife mean anything to anyone?

13 posts in this topic

Hi Guys

Here is one of the knives that has found its way in to my collection recently that I am trying to find some information about.

The seller called it a Pack Knife, a term I am not familiar with. The information that came with the knife was that he had aquired it from a WW1 Vets son, who told him that it was his dads pack knife that he used in WW1, it has no military markings, which is not uncommon on WW1 Brit clasp knives. The knife is marked R.F.MOSLEY & CO LTD SHEFFIELD on the main blade. It has Stag scales.

It measures 4 1/8" closed x 3/4" thick x 1 1/8" deep, main blade is just shy of 3" long opened overall its 7" long. It weighs 6.3 oz (179 gm).

It does not conform to any of the Military patterns that I am familiar with. It is smaller than the 6353/1905 pattern clasp knife and is the same size as the 8171/1914 (stag scales) and 8173/1914 (jigged bone scales) clasp knives except for having the Marline Spike.

Unfortunately it has lost its shackle.

pack_knife01.jpg

pack_knife02.jpg

pack_mark.jpg

I have asked the same question elswhere in knife specific forums with very little success. One eminent authority has suggested that the knife was private purchase. The term pack knife means little to most.

Can anyone throw any light on this pattern knife or the term pack knife?

Regards Dutchy

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Can anyone throw any light on ... ... the term pack knife?

Maybe they meant Jack knife

Dave

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It's a jack knife.

Edit

A jack knife but not an army issue. Lot's of pics of those on the forum.

I'm always keen to learn. Any references to a pack knife other than this one?

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Jack knife is the type, but its not the army issue version, which was distinctly different despite having the same blade features. It's easy to overlook how many men used to carry a pocket knife out of necessity 100yrs ago, and I don't mean for protection. I feel sure this particular knife will have had civilian origins and may well have been retained by its owner on being sent overseas, or possibly sent out to someone as a gift etc? Hundreds of thousands of similar blades will have been made in Sheffield by numerous makers.

Dave Upton

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Or maybe a knife to go in your pack.

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Jack knife is the type, but its not the army issue version, which was distinctly different despite having the same blade features. It's easy to overlook how many men used to carry a pocket knife out of necessity 100yrs ago, and I don't mean for protection. I feel sure this particular knife will have had civilian origins and may well have been retained by its owner on being sent overseas, or possibly sent out to someone as a gift etc? Hundreds of thousands of similar blades will have been made in Sheffield by numerous makers.

Dave Upton

Knives much like this available in good ironmongers as recently as the 1970s. Always referred to as Jack Kinves. Many of the Cable Jointers working for my father then carried one as the spike was very useful for separating the strands in a high voltage cable to allow splicing. The one in your photo has been well used with the blade re sharpened many times.

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R F Mosley whilst not the inventor of Stainless Steel was the man who gave it its name and the first to sell knives made from it. The company was still trading in the mid fifties but sometime between then and now has been dissolved.

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Anyone know for sure where the term 'Jack' knife comes from? I've tended to think it must have senior service navy origins with the knife being issued to Jack Tars to cut & splice rope etc?

Dave

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Anyone know for sure where the term 'Jack' knife comes from? I've tended to think it must have senior service navy origins with the knife being issued to Jack Tars to cut & splice rope etc?

The site below suggests that, and another possibility of it being a derivitive of "jock" for a Scottish knife:

http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_origin_of_the_term_jack_knife_when_describing_a_pocket_knife

I always assumed myself the jack part came from the word associated with lifting (eg a car jack), and referred to the blade having to be lifted out to use.

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Maybe they meant Jack knife

Dave

Hi Guys

Thanks for your input!!

Jack Knife!! Yes, so simple that I am embarrassed that I did not think of it. Someone at some stage has simply misunderstood what was said and has then just passed it on.

Most certainly a private purchase or a gift. It does not conform to any of the known clasp knife patterns of which I have posted an image here in another thread.

The information on the origin of the term Jack Knife was great.

Regards Dutchy

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The site below suggests that, and another possibility of it being a derivitive of "jock" for a Scottish knife:

http://wiki.answers...._a_pocket_knife

I always assumed myself the jack part came from the word associated with lifting (eg a car jack), and referred to the blade having to be lifted out to use.

Officially called a Clasp Knife as in Army Clasp Knife. Clasp knives with a similar blade (but no tin opener) dating from C200 AD have been found in various parts of what was the Roman Empire. The variety of clasp knife which is associated with the name Jack Knife first began to be imported into Britain from France around about the begining of the Industrial Revolution until the knife makers of Sheffield began to produce them at lower cost and improved quality. However it is very possible that they were originally Jacques knives ( Jacques being the popular slang appellation for a Frenchman at the time). Certainly makes more sense than Jock knife

Jack as in car jack has 14th century origins in Jakke - a mechanical device.

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Jack knife is the type, but its not the army issue version, which was distinctly different despite having the same blade features.

A similar clasp knife was included in some Christmas tins as an alternative to a cigarette lighter. There was an IWM photo of such but at the moment only the place holder can be seen

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Fascinating additional info:. thanks CTN.

Dave

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