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WWII Vintage DUI Distinctive Unit Insignia 4th Army Air Corps
$21.00
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VINTAGE WW2 STERLING SILVER GP MILITARY US ARMY STRIPES BAR PIN USA
$8.80
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WW1 US Army2nd Lieutenant uniform bar sterling raised type not flat
$4.00
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6 US ARMY PINS MEDICAL CORP MAJOR DOCTOR UNIFORM PIN BACK WWII Caduceus MARINES
$30.00
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WW2 ERA US ARMY AIR CORP OFFICERS INSIGNIA MEYER METALS
$24.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY AIR CORP ENLISTED CREW WINGS STERLING 2
$49.99
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WW2 ARMY AIR CORP PILOT WINGS STERLING 2 PINBACK
$59.99
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WW2 ARMY AIR CORP AERIAL GUNNER WINGS MEYER 3 STERLING
$119.99
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WW2 ARMY AIR CORP PILOT WINGS STERLING 1 3 8 PINBACK
$34.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY MOTHER 2 PIECE PIN
$39.99
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LeVelle Co STERLING WW2 US ARMY AIR TRANSPORT COMMAND PIN
$25.99
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WW2 Lot US Army Officers Collar Insignia Balfour LT Bars GF
$7.99
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WW 2 US ARMY ENSIGNIAS PINS LOT 20 +
$24.50
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RARE BIG WW2 STERLING US ARMY AIR CORPS SWEETHEART WINGS PIN MARKED STERLING
$31.00
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1940s UNITED STATES ARMY DENTAL CORPS MEDICAL OFFICERS COLLAR PINS
$7.99
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1930s 1940s WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE AIR CORPS AVIATORS HAT BADGE
$25.99
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SUBDUED UNITED STATES ARMY COMBAT INFANTRY BADGE
$9.99
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STERLING WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY NAVY PRODUCTION WARD PIN
$5.99
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NS MEYER 1940s UNITED STATES ARMY 20th INFANTRY REGIMENT DI PIN
$9.99
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UNITED STATES ARMY OFFICERS HAT BADGE
$9.99
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WWII USA ARMY STERLING WW2 USAAF AIRCREW FULL SIZE WINGS CLUTCHBACK
$29.00
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STERLING 1940s WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE AIR CORPS PILOTS WING
$41.99
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BALFOUR 1 20th 10K GOLD FILLED WW2 US ARMY ARTILLERY OFFICER COLLAR INSIGNIA PIN
$35.99
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MEYER METAL 1920s WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY INFANTRY OFFICER COLLAR INSIGNIA PIN
$11.99
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WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY INFANTRY OFFICERS COLLAR INSIGNIA PIN
$7.99
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WWII USA ARMY STERLING WW2 USAAF AIRCREW FULL SIZE WINGS RARE PINBACK
$69.00
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WWII ARMY BRASS OFFICER AND WARRENT OFFICER CAP BADGE
$20.00
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1940s WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY 3rd AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY REGIMENT DI PIN
$9.99
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MEYER 1940s WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY 7TH INFANTRY REGIMENT DI PIN
$9.99
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US Army Air Corp USAF Air Force Collar Disk Hat Cap Badge Set Insignia Pin Lot
$8.55
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Vintage WWII Sterling Silver Pinback Army Driver W Driver Wheeled Vehicles Badge
$14.50
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WWII US Army 12th Field Artillery Regiment unit crest with screw post fastener
$9.99
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WW2 or later US Army Air Corp enlisted aircrew wings by Gemsco pin back
$15.50
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WWII US Army 345th Field Artillery Battalion unit crest with screw post fastener
$13.50
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WW2 THRU MODERN LOT USN USMC ARMY PINS BADGES BARS PARATROOPER STRIPES
$19.99
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WW2 INDIA SIKH PUNJABI RAJPUT HAT CAP PINS TURBAN BRITISH MILITARY ARMY BADGES
$279.99
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WW2 era US Army Air Force US Air Force 2 pin back air crew wing
$10.00
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Two Army Military Medals Lot National Defense and Army Achievement with Box
$14.50
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WW2 Authentic US Army Air Corps Air Medal w Lapel Pin 3 Ribbon Bar Pin Back
$64.95
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US Army 1 Information Operations Cmd Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army 1 Personnel Admin Battalion Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army 105th Personnel Services Battalion Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army 117 Space Battalion Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army 143 Support Battalion Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army 248th Transportation Battalion Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army 310 Personnel Group Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army 33 Field Hospital Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army 50 Support Group Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army 530 Support Battalion Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army Allied Forces Europe Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army Europe Command Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army Fort Benning Maneuvers Center Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army Health and Science Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Unit Crest DI DUI
$10.00
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US Army Missile Command Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army ROTC Cadet Command Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army Signal Regiment Corps Unit Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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US Army Soldiers Media Center Crest DI DUI
$3.99
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UNKNOWN US ARMY TIE TACK 1 2 inch
$4.95
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WW2 US Army Air Forces AWS Pin
$16.50
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LOT VINTAGE US ARMY MILITARY UNIFORM LAPEL HAT BUTTON COVER PIN BADGE WW1 WW2
$41.00
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PIN AA UNIT WW2 US ARMY AIR CORPS AIRBORNE PINBACK LAPEL HAT COLLAR PARATROOPER
$79.95
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UNITED STATES ARMY INFANTRY SOLDIERS TIE CLASP
$4.99
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WW II US Army Combat Infantryman Badge CIB Regulation Size Foreign Made
$69.55
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WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE PILOTS TIE TACK CHAIN
$4.99
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Vintage WWII Era US Army Lieutenant Colonel Oak Leaf Pin Back
$1.35
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WWII ORIGINAL 20TH ARMY AIR CORP LAPEL PIN
$12.00
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US Army Engineer School Unit Crest P B WWII
$1.99
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UNITED STATES ARMY ARTILLERY SOLDIERS TIE CLIP
$4.99
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GEMSCO NY WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE TECHNICAL TRAINING COMMAND DI PIN
$5.99
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Scarce WWII US Army Paratrooper Sterling Jump Wing Badge Pin Airborne AE Co
$66.00
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JR GAUNT 1940s WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY OFFICER HAT BADGE
$55.00
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WW11 ARMY AIR CORPS PILOTS GOLD WINGS WITH PROPELLER PIN 2 US COLLAR PINS
$9.99
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Vintage WWII Signal and US Collar Brass Pin US Army Estate Uniform Insignia Set
$0.98
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Vintage WWII US Army Warrant Officer Lapel Pin 2 pcs
$1.95
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US ARMY WW2 Tank Armor Officer Collar FOX Maker Mark 1 PIN
$9.99
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WWll US Army Badge No Markings
$1.95
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STERLING 1940s WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY PRIVATES LOVED ONE PIN
$15.99
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Vintage Pin ARMY AIR CORP PILOTS WW II WINGS W PROPELLER
$1.95
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WW2 US Army Services of Supply DUI Badge NS Meyer Sterling PB Unit Crest DI Pin
$9.95
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Axe Skull German Iron Cross Harley Biker Military Army Hat Jacket Vest Lapel PIN
$12.99
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Germany German IRON CROSS WW2 Eagle Military Army Tie Tack Jacket Hat Lapel Pin
$12.99
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UNITED STATES ARMY MEDICAL SERVICE CORPS OFFICERS COLLAR INSIGNIA PIN
$41.99
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US ARMY AIR MEDAL LAPEL BUTTON
$5.99
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WWII US DI Army Infantry SERVE THE GUNS UNSHRINKINGLY inf insignia crest pin
$25.00
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STERLING WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE AIR CORPS LOVED ONE WING
$9.99
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ORIGINAL WWII AAF USAAF Pilot Wings STERLING Pin Back 2 Span w Army Seal
$12.50
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WORLD WAR II Army Air Corps FLIGHT PIN Sterling PROPELLER AND GF WINGS
$16.00
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Army Pin

A Short History of the Swiss Army Knife

The story begins in 1891 with Karl Elsener, owner of a company that made surgical equipment. He founded the Association of Swiss Master Cutlers, to supply pocket knives to the Swiss army, who at this time were using German-made ones. It took Elsener five years to come up with what he called the "Soldier's knife" (known today in Switzerland as the "Offiziersmesser"). With suggestions from an engineer friend, Jeannine Keller, the original model had a wooden handle, and came with a blade, screwdriver, can opener, and a punch. It was actually made available to the army before 1896, but Elsener was not happy with the device, and eventually was able to put blades on both sides by using a special mechanism using a single spring for both blades. This allowed him to also add a corkscrew.

Elsener's company, Victorinox, was the single supplier of multi-function pocketknives until 1893. A company in the French-speaking area of Switzerland called Paul Boechat & Cie began to market a similar product. The company was later bought by its general manager, Theodore Wenger, and the company name changed to Wenger. By 1908, the Swiss government decided to split the contract for knives between the two companies, partly to appease German and French-speaking factions in the country, and partly to stimulate competition (and lower the prices of the knives). The two companies came to an agreement over marketing, with Victorinox using the phrase "The Original Swiss Army Knife" and Wenger using "The Genuine Swiss Army Knife". The following year (1909), the Swiss army began decorating the knives with the Swiss national symbol (a white cross). Victorinox uses a shield with bilateral symmetry around the cross, while Wenger uses a slightly rounded square with quadrilateral symmetry. The Swiss army uses knives with a simpler bilaterally-symmetric shield.

Victorinox switched to stainless steel blades and tools in 1921. It is believed Wenger did so as well around the same time, but company sources are inconclusive about the exact date. The knives were sold in PX stores on US army bases from 1945 to 1949. In fact it is believed that the term "Swiss Army Knife" was coined in English by American G.I.s during World War II, because they couldn't pronounce the Swiss name "Offiziersmesser".

Today, Swiss army knives contain a multitude of tools, including: several blades, a bottle-opener/screwdriver/wire stripper, can opener/small screwdriver, tweezers, toothpick, corkscrew, phillips-head screwdriver, nail file, scissors, saw, hook, magnifying glass, ballpoint pen, fish scaler, pliers, keychain, USB flash memory, digital clock, digital altimeter, LED light, laser pointer mp3 player, and a brass spacer in the official army model, which allows assembly of the SIG 550 and SIG 510 assault rifles (with the screwdriver and reamer extended, the knife becomes a restraint to the firing pin during the lock assembly). Wenger has a special model which contains all the tools they make. The device is nearly twice as wide as it is long, and retails for around $1,200.

The knives are also available in many other colors besides the traditional red. Black, blue, white, pink, camouflage, phosphorescent yellow and many others, in both opaque or transparent. Also metal and wood cladding. The model actually used by the Swiss army is in fact aluminum, and not red at all.

On April 26, 2005, Victorinox acquired the Wenger company, becoming again the single supplier of knives to the Swiss army. The company intends to keep the Wenger brand alive for knives sold to consumers.

About the Author

Michael Carpenter operates two websites that sell Swiss Army Knives:
Army Knife Swiss (US) and
Army Knife Swiss (UK).

Army Pin
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