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Antique CARTIER BOX WWII US MASTER ARMY AVIATOR WINGS FRENCH HALLMARK STERLING
$58.50
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WWII WW2 US Army Hat Device Pin What is it
$5.00
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Old Vintage WWII US Army Military Push Back Pin Uniform
$14.99
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WWII 1st 5th US ARMY AIR AIRBORNE SHOULDER PATCHES 2 WING PINS 2 PINS
$9.50
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ORIGINAL WWII UNITED STATES ARMY GOOD CONDUCT MEDAL BRONZE RIBBON PIN BACK
$6.99
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7 Different Vintage WWII US ARMY SON in SERVICE SWEETHEART PINS 1 Handmade
$7.50
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Scarce Original US Army WW2 501 Airborn Infantry Geronimo Badge Clutch Pin NR
$9.99
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Vintage WWII Military ROTC US Army Badge Pin 10 Piece Lot
$29.95
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OLD VINTAGE US MILITARY WWII Pin Arrow Uniform Badge Army
$19.99
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Air Corps Ring WWII US Army Air Forces AAF Pilot STERLING SILVER Original Sz 10
$47.77
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Rare USSR Soviet Russian Gold Order Medal Badge Pin General Army Award Insignia
$18.00
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WWII US Army Coat Pants Dated 1941 w Patches Medals Medic Doctor Pin
$51.00
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US Army Military WWII WW II Military US Army Cross World Ocean Cavalry Hat
$6.95
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LOT of WWII VIETNAM COLD WAR US ARMY PATCHES PINS RIBBONS 28 Pieces
$9.50
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WWII Original US Army AF Medical Officer rank pin wax pkg from43 dated box
$6.00
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WWII Bakelite 1 and 2 Sons In Service Home Front Pins Army Air Forces DI Pin
$11.99
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WWII 1942 Army Navy USMC Flat Brass Clutchbacks Group Lot Of 20
$25.00
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WWII Gold Plated Army Inspector General Officer Droit Et Avant Insignia
$11.99
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WWII Army Air Corps Wings and US Officer Insignia Sets Lot Of 4 by Meyer Metal
$39.99
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WWII Gold Plated Army Infantry Officer Insignia Set by Amcraft Acid Test
$11.99
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WWII Army MP Miltary Police Officer Insignia Set With Original Card GREAT SHAPE
$15.00
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WWII Army Medical Corps Combat Medic Enlisted Discs Lot Of 3 ZINC BACKS
$7.99
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WWII 24K Gold Plated On Plastic Army Enlisted Hat Badge With Original Card
$13.99
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WWII Sterling Army Navy USMC First Lieutenant Rank Insignia Sets Lot Of 6
$17.99
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WWI and WWII Army Artillery Battery A Officer Insignia Set Lot Of 3
$11.99
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WWII Army Artillery Engineer Infantry Officer Insignia Lot Of 7 by Meyer Gold
$11.99
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WWII Army Medical Corps Veterinarian Officer Insignia Set Ribbon Bar W 3 Stars
$30.99
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WWII Sterling Army or USMC Colonel Rank Eagle Collar Insignia Set
$27.00
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WWII Army Ruptured Duck Honorable Discharge Buttons and Pin Lot Of 10
$19.99
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Pre WWII Sterling Army Armor Corps Sav Way Machine Co Tank Builders Pin
$39.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Corps Air Forces DI Unit Crest Pins Lot Of 2 by LeVelle
$19.99
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WWII Army Air Corps Wings Enlisted Collar Disc Set ZINC BACKS
$9.99
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WWII Army Medical Corps Doctor Officer Insignia Set With Original Cards
$11.98
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WWII Sterling Army Submachine Gun Expert Badge GREAT SHAPE
$11.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Corps Air Forces Material Command DI Unit Crest Pin
$9.99
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WWII Army Band Musician Officer Dress Collar Insignia Set
$12.99
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WWII Army Medical Corps Nurse Officer Insignia
$9.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Corps Officer Wings Sweetheart Pin by National Silver Co
$12.99
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WWII Sterling Army Officer and Wings Home Front Sweetheart Pins Lot Of 3
$13.99
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WWII Army General Staff Officer Star Insignia
$8.99
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WWII Army Air Corps Air Forces and San Antonio Air Depot Pins Lot Of 5
$9.99
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3 WWII Sterling US Army Infantry Training Take It And Follow Me Pins
$15.00
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Original WWII Army 1st Air Defense Artillery Regiment Distinctive Unit DUI Crest
$4.99
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Original WWII Army 111th Quartermaster Company Distinctive Unit DUI Crest Pin
$4.99
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Original WWII Army Air Corps Training Program Sterling Sliver DUI Cr
$4.99
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Original WWII Army 29th Infantry Regiment Distinctive Unit DUI Crest Pin
$4.99
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Original WWII Army 337th Field Artillery Regiment Distinctive Unit DUI Crest Pin
$4.99
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Original WWII Army Coast Artillery Corps Distinctive Unit DUI Crest Pin
$13.49
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Original WWII 107th Observation Squadron Army Air Corps Distinctive Unit DUI
$28.00
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Original WWII Army 17th Airborne Division Distinctive Unit DUI Crest Pin
$5.99
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WWII Army USAAF UT VIRI VOLENT Enamel Uniform Pin Made in Mexico 24K Gold Plated
$6.99
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WWII Army Chaplain Christian Cross Insignia Lot Of 2 With Sterling Clutches
$44.99
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Vintage WWII US Army Cavalry Tank Crossed Swords Round Pin Infantry Armored
$14.99
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Rare ANGUS COOTE Australian Made US Army Air Force Pilot Wing Sterling Sliver
$209.95
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U S Army Infantry School Sterling Gemsco DUI Regimental Crests
$9.99
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WW II US ARMY Marksman badges 2 hangers 2 group of 4all marked STERLING
$60.00
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WW II US ARMY Group of 4 3 unit badges and 1 brass buckle
$50.00
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WW II US ARMY Group of 2 unit badges
$50.00
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WW2 US Army 131st Field Artillery Texas ANG DI Unit Crest Pin Back PB NH Theater
$13.09
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WWII VINTAGE US ARMY BUTTON STYLE PIN HOME FRONT ITEM
$14.00
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WW II US ARMY Group of 5 2 unit badges2 hangars and 1 marksman badge
$100.00
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WW2 STERLING SILVER US Army Aerial Gunner Badge WINGS 2in Hat Lapel Collar
$20.99
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WW2 Soviet red army military Russia hat and pins
$3.99
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WOW Nice Vintage WWII Silver Tone Army Lieutenant BAR Lapel Pin Dual Back Rare
$13.49
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WW2 STERLING SILVER US Army Navigator Badge WINGS 2in Hat Lapel Collar Marked
$20.49
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Vintage 1945 Yank Magazine January 26 US Army 5 Pin up Special Mt McKinley WWII
$12.99
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WW2 STERLING SILVER US Army Navigator Badge WINGS 2in MARKED LUXENBERG NY
$49.99
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BALFOUR US ARMY Infantry Officer Branch Insignia STERLING marked Clutches
$4.95
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US WWII Army Air Corps Cadets Pilots Wings Insignia Pin Screw Back
$19.99
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BALFOUR USARMY Officer lapel Insignia US
$4.95
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WWII US Army Field Artillery Airborne Jump Wing Collar FA Bass Disk Insignia Pin
$8.37
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WWII era Army Service Forces Quartermaster Lapel Pin High Quality Beauty
$24.95
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Original Sterling Army Navy E Award Production WWII Badge Military Uniform
$24.99
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WW2 US Army 1st Cavalry Tank Battalion DI Unit Crest Pin Back PB NHM Theater
$19.65
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USAF Pin Lot Sgt Rank Military Airlift Patch Pilot Prop Wings WWII Army
$34.00
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an83 3 Sterling Silver WWII Army Air Forces Corps Cadet Hat Badge W ID Card
$49.99
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MEYER METAL WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY ORDNANCE OFFICERS COLLAR INSIGNIA
$9.99
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AMCRAFT WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY LT COLONELS COLLAR INSIGNIA PINS
$11.99
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Vtg Military WW2 Sterling Silver US Army Air Corp Pilot Wings Pin Back 2 1 4
$85.00
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GEMSCO STERLING 1940s 50s UNITED STATES ARMY MAJORS SHOULDER INSIGNIA
$11.99
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AMCRAFT 1940s WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE PILOTS COLLAR WING PINS
$25.99
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MEYER METAL 1920s 30s UNITED STATES ARMY 2ND LIEUTENANT COLLAR BARS INSIGNIA
$9.99
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STERLING + 1 20th 10K WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE LOVED ON IN SERVICE PIN
$11.99
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SHOLD R FORM MEYER STERLING WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY LT COLONELS COLLAR INSIGNIA
$21.99
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ENGRAVED LOVE MR STERLING WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE SWEET HEART WING
$31.99
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Vintage WWII Army Service Forces Star Pin Military WW2 World War 2
$12.99
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WW ll US Army 4th Infantry Distinguished Unit Insignia Pin Screwback
$9.99
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WWII US Army Officer 2nd Lieutenant metal shoulder rank insignia snowflake 1
$8.00
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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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