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US Army WW2 Special Forces Black Beret Paratrooper Sterling Pin Jump Wings
$105.00
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ORIGINAL US ARMY COAST ARTILLERY QUALIFICATION BAR WITH MOUNTING RINGS
$0.99
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WW2 ERA ARMY AIR CORP AERIAL GUNNER STERLING WINGS CONVERTED TO A BRACELET
$43.99
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Vintage WWII Sterling Silver US ARMY Engineerng Corps pin 127
$18.60
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US ARMY 10th ARTILLERY DI CREST Pin Back
$5.00
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RUSSIAN MILITARY SOVIET ARMY PINS COMMUNIST KGB AWARD GOLD BADGES MEDAL ORDER
$6.00
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US ARMY AIR FORCE USAAF SOUTHEAST TRAINING CTR WW II DUI STERLING PB DI
$9.00
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US ARMY HONORABLE DISCHARGE ENLISTED MAN WW II INSIGNIA BUTTON HOLE STUD + PATCH
$9.00
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Original Vintage WWII WW2 US Military 3rd Army Corps Pin Pinback Button
$29.99
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US ARMY COAST ARTILLERY CORPS COLLAR DISC DISK PIN LOT CB
$7.99
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VINTAGE WWII US ARMY AIR FORCE OBSERVER NEW YORK METAL WINGS PIN
$143.99
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LOT OF 2 WWII SON IN SERVICE RIBBON BAR STYLE PINS US ARMY
$9.95
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2 WW II US Army Air Force Pilot Officers Wing Propeller Pins 1 1 8th x 3 4
$16.80
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Vintage WWII US Army Air Force AAF Air Crew Wing Double Clutch Pin 3 Vanguard
$25.99
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US Army Meddac Tehran DI DUI CREST CB 22m Hallmark x715b
$24.99
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US Army 9th Medical Bn DI DUI CREST SB no Hallmark x780
$34.99
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Authentic Vintage US Army WW II Expert Marksman Rifle Qualification Sterling Pin
$12.95
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US Army 174th SS Supply Service pin DI DUI CREST CB 22m Hallmark x780
$19.99
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US Army VII 7th Corps Area Motor Transport School DI DUI CREST PB Meyer S x780
$29.99
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US Army 75th Support Bn pin DI DUI CREST CB V21 Hallmark x780
$11.99
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US Army 75th Support Bn pin DI DUI CREST CB G23 Hallmark x780
$10.99
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US Army 103rd Support Bde pin DI DUI CREST CB 22m Hallmark x780
$17.99
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US Army Black Subdued Specialist Collar Pin Lot Of 7 Vintage Pins
$14.99
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US Army 308th QM Supply Service Bn pin DI DUI CREST CB P Hallmark x780
$19.99
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US Army 6th Ordnance Bn pin DI DUI CREST CB no Hallmark Korea x780
$23.99
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WWII to Korean War Army Branches Of Service Enlisted Collar Discs Lot Of 33
$49.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY AIR CORPS PROPELLOR INSIGNIA PIN
$5.50
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US Army 112th Signal Bn Airborne Special Ops Pin DI DUI CREST CB D22 x780
$12.99
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Military Service Pins Sterling Silver Army Navy Production Marksman USMC USA Lot
$95.00
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WW2 US Army collar devices Quartermasters Corps
$3.99
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WW2 US army Air Corps distinctive unit insignia Sterling matched pair
$15.00
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WWII US Army Medical Administrative Corps Pair Officers Collar Insignia
$24.50
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Pair of Navy Lieutenant or Army Captain Sterling Bar Military Pins
$22.95
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JAPAN MADE US ARMY 7th CAVALRY GARRY OWEN UNIFORM CREST DI DUI MAKER STAMP
$9.99
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WWII ARMY NAVY STERLING SILVER ENAMEL 15 16 PRODUCTION AWARD PIN
$5.00
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WW2 ENAMELED STERLING SILVER US ARMY SIGNAL CORPS INSIGNIA SWEETHEART PIN
$32.49
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53 Rd Evac Hosp SB Medical DI DUI Army
$25.00
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WWII Half Track Auti Track Tank Army DI DUI pin Scout Car Unit 414th Recon RARE
$150.00
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WWII US Army Air Corps Pilot Wing Sterling Pin Amcraft Full Size Badge 3
$75.00
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WW2 US ARMY MEDICAL CORPS STERLING SILVER HOMEFRONT SWEETHEART PIN GOLD WASH
$24.95
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WWII Vintage DUI Distinctive Unit Insignia 11th Army Air Corps
$17.00
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WWII Vintage DUI Distinctive Unit Insignia 6th Army Air Corps Small
$15.00
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Vintage WW2 Sterling Army Navy E Production Award Pin 1 1 4
$9.99
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US Army Air Corps WWII Pin HAYWARD Sterling Silver EXPLOSIVE Ordinace Disposal
$75.00
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WW 2 US ARMY ARTY CREST DUI PIN MADE BY DENMARK
$4.50
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VINTAGE COPPER WWII US ARMY SWEETHEART BROOCH COLLECTOR PIN
$19.95
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Sterling Silver 20 Year United States Army Service Pin
$3.99
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US Army Enlisted Infantry Collar Brass Insignia Disc Cavalry pair
$39.99
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VINTAGE WWII US ARMY WARRANT OFFICER EAGLE HAT PIN STANDING ON TWO ARROWS
$135.00
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French Army 57 Shield Centaur Badge Pin G2415 Y Delsart Sens 119
$10.00
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Vintage Sterling Silver Lieutenant JG Navy First Lieutenant Army Pin
$10.99
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WW2 Era United States Army 87th Infantry Division Insignia Pin 974
$15.00
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WW2 ENAMELED STERLING SILVER US ARMY 118TH SUPPORT BATTALION DUI PIN
$37.49
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Lot of 15 Misc WWII Era US Army Air Corps PINS BUTTONS ORIGINAL ITEMS
$19.99
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Army good conduct medal WW II named Turcotte ribbon bar lapel pin miniature
$33.00
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Decorationmedalsgood ConductJuly 24 1943 Above And Beyond Medal Us Army Pins
$0.99
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WWII Army Air Corps Lapel Collar Insignia Pair From 1943 in as found patina
$18.75
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WWII Army Artillery Officer US Officer 2nd Lt Insignia Sets Lot Of 7
$23.99
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WWII to Korean War Army Air Forces Navigator 3 Inch Wings Badge by Meyer
$59.99
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WWII US ARMY SOLDIERS MEDAL FOR VALOR SLOT BROOCH RIBBON BAR LAPEL PIN AAC
$109.99
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Vintage US Army Air Corps Aviation Sterling Pin Back Pin
$40.00
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WWll 3 Piece US Army Uniform 50th Armed Division Pins Patches w Military Orders
$99.99
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Vintage US Army Small Bore Rifle Pin Badge Medal FREE SHIPPING
$9.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Officer Full Size 3 Inch Wings Badge by Balfour
$124.99
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Amcraft Acid Test Snowflake Back Dentist Collar Insignia WWII US ARMY
$8.00
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Vintage WW2 US Army Enlisted Corps of Engineer Branch Collar Insignia
$6.00
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Army Navy Production Sterling Silver Military WWII E Award Pin 16C1
$8.99
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VINTAGE BRONZED ROTC COLLAR DISC INSIGNIA PINS POST WW1 US ARMY
$4.79
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VINTAGE BRONZED ROTC COLLAR DISC INSIGNIA PIN POST WW1 US ARMY
$4.79
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VINTAGE BRASS ROTC OFFICER HAT BADGE INSIGNIA WWII ERA US ARMY
$4.79
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WW2 Era United States Army 27th Field Artillery Regiment DUI Pin 896
$10.00
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WW2 ENAMELED STERLING SILVER ARMY AIR CORPS CADET FLYING DIV SCHOOL DUI PIN
$47.49
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WWII Army Engineer US Officer and 2nd Lt Insignia Sets Lot Of 7
$23.99
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WWII US ARMY 3rd INFANTRY REGIMENT THE OLD GUARD UNIT CREST DUI DI
$8.99
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Vintage WW2 US Army Sweetheart Son In Service Pin One Star
$18.96
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WWII Sterling Army Airborne Paratrooper Jump Wings Badge Patch Lot Of 2
$99.99
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WWII Sterling Army CIB Combat Infantry Badge With Sterling Clutches
$14.39
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WW2 Era United States Army 53rd Field Artillery Battalion DUI Pin Backmark 876
$12.00
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WWII US AAF ARMY UT VIRI VOLENT Adv Flying School Sterling Silver DI BADGE Pin
$31.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Officer Full Size 3 Inch Wings Badge by Vanguard
$49.99
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ORIGINAL WW2 US ARMY EAGLE EMBLEM PIN BROOCH SWEETHEART STERLING SILVER 925
$14.95
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Army DI Pin Replacement Depots pb nhm 24 mm
$2.95
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ORIGINAL WW2 US ARMY MARKSMAN BADGE Rifle Pistol Qualification Pin STERLING
$9.99
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WWII to Korean War Army 3 Star Lieutenant General Rank Insignia
$14.39
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WWII Army Quartermaster Engineer Infantry Enlisted Collar Discs Lot Of 20
$19.99
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WWII Army Air Forces Wings Armored Cavalry Enlisted Collar Discs Lot Of 7
$13.99
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Pre WWII Army Air Corps Wings Infantry Headquarters Company Enlisted Discs Lot
$11.99
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VINTAGE WWII E Pluribus Unum Eagle shield patch unused ARMY
$20.00
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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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