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US Army Enlisted Medic collar Disc Insignia w original card 18KT Western Milita
$14.99
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WW2 Sterling US Army Air Corps Air Service Command DUI Pin by Le Velle
$30.00
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WW2 ERA ARMY AIR CORP HEART PENDENT 2 BAKELITE EARLY PLASTIC
$74.99
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WW2 ERA ARMY AIR CORP PILOT WINGS FOX 3 CLUTCH BACK
$89.99
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WWII US Army Navy Industrial Service Aircraft Production Pin War Worker numbered
$35.00
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WWII US Army Air Corps Air Medal Bar and Pin in Box Pre owned
$41.00
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US Army Air Corps Type III 1937 1943 Winged Prop Screw Back Collar Brass Pin AAC
$12.00
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WWII Sterling US Army Air Corps Son In Service Blue Star Sweetheart Pin by CORO
$30.00
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Authentic WWII US Army UNKNOWN Regiment Unit DUI DI Insignia Crest Screw Back
$25.95
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WW2 US Military Army Enlisted Field Artillery Brass Insignia Pins belt buckle
$24.99
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Army General School Pinback DI DUI NSMeyer STOCK CARDED
$14.95
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Pair of Post WW2 US Army Air Corps Pierced Brass Collar Disk
$9.99
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Vintage WWII US ARMY or NAVY PRODUCTION AWARD E Sterling Silver 7 8
$12.50
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WWII US Army 1st Lieut Liutenant matching pair collar insignia pin pins Gethen
$95.00
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US ARMY SEVENTH INFANTRY DIVISION DUI PIN PINBACK 7th INFANTRY
$14.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY HERALDIC EAGLE SWEETHEART PIN STERLING
$14.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY AIR CORP LIAISON PILOT WINGS AMCRAFT 3 PIN BACK
$199.99
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USAAF Sustineo Alas Army Air Forces Technical Training Command Pin Back
$4.95
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VTG Connecticut POST WW2 Army CT Domed Collar Solid Brass Insignia
$18.00
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WW2 BAILEY BANKS BIDDLE BBB US ARMY OR USAAF MAJORS OR LT COLS INSIGNIA
$99.00
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World War 2 Sterling Silver Maltese Cross Army Marksman Rifle Badge Pin
$20.00
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World War 2 1 20 Silver filled Maltese Cross Army Marksman Rifle Badge Pin
$20.00
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World War 2 Maltese Cross Army Marksman Machine gun Sterling Carbine Badge Pin
$15.00
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VINTAGE WWII STERLING SILVER ENAMEL RED CROSS SERVICE ARMY NURSE PIN
$10.33
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Republic P 47 Thunderbolt Army Air Fighter Pilot Battle War Wing Night Pin Tac
$9.99
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Vintage Gold U S Army Officer Eagle Military Hat Badge Pin WWII Era
$8.93
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Nice mens size 39 S US Army Uniform jacket green with patches
$39.99
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Two WWII US Army Artillery Silver Domed Insignia Clutch Back
$9.99
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Pre WWII 1920s or 1930s Gold Plated Army Officer Hat Badge GREAT SHAPE
$23.99
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1982 Reunion Pin CY 138th 198th Army Division
$5.00
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WW2 ERA US ARMY BLUE STAR SON IN SERVICE PIN STERLING
$16.99
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WW2 WWII US Army MILITARY Unit Insignia 9th INFANTRY DUI UI KEEP UP THE FIRE
$25.00
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Original WWII US Army Officers 1st Infantry Regiment Collar Brass NS Meyer
$9.95
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Original WWII US Army Officers 15th Infantry Regiment Collar Brass NS Meyer
$16.50
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Original WWII US Army Officers E Co 23rd Infantry Regt Collar Brass Snowflake
$9.95
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US ARMY WORLD WAR TWO LETTER WW11 DOCUMENT GERMAN MEDAL PIN DDAY BX U 55
$39.99
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Original WWII US Army Officers 24th Infantry Regiment Collar Brass Acid Test
$9.95
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Authentic WWII US Army 162nd Infantry Regiment Unit DI DUI Crest Pin Back
$10.00
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Authentic WWII Army 60th Infantry Regiment Unit DI DUI Crest Insignia PB
$10.00
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WW2 United States Army 51st Signal Battalion DUI Screwback Pin Whitehead
$15.00
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Original WWII US Army Officers 33rd Infantry Regiment Collar Brass NS Meyer
$9.95
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Authentic WWII US Army or USMC Rifle Marksman Qualification Badge Pin Back PB
$5.00
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WWII Army Navy USMC Second Lieutenant Shoulder Insignia Set by Meyer
$11.99
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WWII Army Artillery Officer Insignia Set
$9.99
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WWII Army Atlantic Base Command DI Unit Crest Pin GREAT SHAPE
$15.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Officer Wings and Propeller Sweetheart Pin
$20.00
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WWII Sterling Army Navy USMC First Lieutenant Rank Insignia Set by Balfour
$19.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces AAF Officer Wings and Propeller Sweetheart Pin
$13.99
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Pre WWII 1930s Army MP Military Police Officer Insignia Set by AE Co
$24.99
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WWII Sterling Army Captain Rank Shoulder Insignia Set by Balfour
$37.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Corps Air Forces AAF Officer Wings Insignia
$17.99
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Pre WWII 1930s General Pattons Famous 3rd Army DI Unit Pin and Patch
$18.99
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WWII Army or Navy Branch Officer Insignia With Unique Clutchback PATENT APPLIED
$4.00
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WWII Army Navy USMC Prisoner Of War Ring Of Freedom Badge
$25.99
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WWII Sterling Army Captain Rank Shoulder Insignia Set by AE Co
$21.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Corps Air Forces AP Airplane Mechanic Badge RARE
$64.99
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WWII Part 18K Gold Army 2nd Lt Set and Rifle A Sharpshooter Badge by Meyer Metal
$14.99
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WWII 5th Army Air Forces DI Unit Crest Pin
$19.99
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Pre WWII 1930s Army Medical Corps Combat Medic Enlisted Collar Disc
$14.99
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WWII Army 1st Tank Corps DI Unit Crest Pins Set
$23.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Officer Wings and Propeller Home Front Pin
$17.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Officer Wings and Propeller Sweetheart Pin
$27.99
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WWII Army Air Corps Air Forces Officer Wings and Propellers Insignia Set Amico
$30.00
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces AAF Aircrew Wings Badge
$13.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Corps Air Forces AAF Officer Wings Insignia
$25.00
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Officer Wings and Propeller Insignia
$16.99
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WWII Army Air Corps Wings and Ordinance Enlisted Discs Lot Of 6 ZINC BACKS
$18.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Full Size 3 Inch Wings Badge by Orber RARE MAKER
$154.99
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WWII Army Air Forces 1st Wing DI Unit Crest Pin
$19.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Officer Wings and Propeller Sweetheart Pin
$15.99
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WWII 1942 Army Navy USMC Flat Brass Clutchbacks NOS Group Lot Of 20
$29.99
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WWII Army CIB Combat Infantry Badge MESS DRESS SIZE
$19.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Officer Wings Insignia
$16.99
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WWII Sterling Army Navy USMC General Staff Star Insignia Set by Emblematic
$24.99
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WWII Army Atlantic Base Command DI Unit Crest Pin
$19.99
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WWII WAC Womens Army Corps Enlisted Collar Disc ZINC BACK IN NICE SHAPE
$13.99
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WWII Army MP Military Police Officer Insignia Set
$21.99
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WWII Army MP Military Police Officer Insignia and Enlisted Collar Disc Lot Of 2
$15.99
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WWII Sterling Army Officer Son In Service Blue Star Home Front Pins UNIQUE
$13.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Corps Air Forces AAF Officer Home Front Sweetheart Pin
$14.99
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WWII Army Air Corps Air Forces Officer Wings and Propellers Insignia Set
$30.00
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WWII Army Signal Corps Officer Insignia Set by Luxenberg
$27.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces AAF Pilot 2 Inch Wings Badge by Meyer
$49.99
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WWII Army Cavalry Officer Insignia
$13.99
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WWII Era Sterling Army Donkey Home Front Sweetheart Pins
$19.99
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WWII Gold Filled Army Navy USMC Second Lieutenant Insignia Set by Sugerman
$19.99
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WWII Army Medical Corps Doctor Officer Insignia Set With Original Cards
$10.99
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WWII 24K Gold Plate Army Air Forces Advanced Training Ut Viri Volent DI Pins Set
$17.99
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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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