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1 20th 10K GOLD WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY OFFICERS COLLAR US PINS
$39.99
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US Army US Uniform Insignia in Sterling Silver by Fisher
$24.95
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World War 2 WWII US Army Air Corps Collar Wings Original Card Tabs USAAC Force
$19.99
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WWII US ARMY Infantry COURAGE and DEPENDABILITY Pin
$1.99
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WW2 WWII US Army Screwback Brass Eagle Hat Badge L18
$7.99
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WW2 US ARMY SWEETHEART STERLING PIN
$25.00
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WWII US Army Air Corps bombardier wings shirt size sterling pin back
$15.50
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Vintage WWII US Army Air Force Eagle Badge Officer military hat cap emblem
$40.00
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Rare Bakelite WW2 WWII US Army Screwback Eagle Hat Badge L24
$14.99
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VERY RARE WW2 US ARMY MEDICAL CORPS PHYSICAL THERAPIST AMERICAN REGISTRY PIN HJ
$67.71
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VERY RARE WW2 US ARMY MP MILITARY POLICE OFFICER PIN MARKED KG LUKE AUSTRALIA
$67.00
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2 Vintage Sterling Silver Army Navy E For Production Pins
$8.99
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Vintage Lot US Army World War 2 Patches Ribbons Pins FREE SHIPPING
$19.99
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Infantry Officer Shirt Size Collar Insignias 1 Inch Pre WWII US Army B0157
$14.99
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Infantry Officer Collar Insignia Screw Back Pre WWII US Army B0159
$9.99
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Combat Infantry Badge CIB 2nd Award Tie Clip Post WWII US Army B0181
$9.99
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Infantry Officer Collar Insignia Screw Back Pre WWII US Army B0160
$9.99
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ORIGINAL WWII US ARMY SPECIAL TROOPS HAWAIIAN DIVISION DI CREST ON ORIGNAL CARD
$19.99
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ORIGINAL WWII US ARMY SERVICE OF SUPPLY DI CREST ON ORIGINAL CARD
$14.99
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WORLD WAR II WW2 US ARMY PIN LOT
$19.99
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ORIGINAL WWII US ARMY 6TH ARMY DI CREST ON ORIGINAL CARD
$14.99
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WWII US ARMY SHARPSHOOTER BADGE PISTOL BAR STERLING 1K SILVER PIN BACK VINTAGE
$19.99
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ORIGINAL US ARMY MACHINE GUN QUALIFICATION BAR WITH MOUNTING RINGS
$0.99
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Orig WWII US Army Air Corps ATC Transport Command Sterling Silver
$9.99
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WW2 US Army collar pin brass pin back original off uniform stocking stuffer gift
$12.99
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WWII Sterling Silver Army Air Force Pilot Wings Pin Badge C3
$39.99
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WWII USN Navy Anchor US ARMY Mother Pins Mother of Pearl Heart Military USA
$37.50
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WWII Sterling Silver Army Air Force Pilot Wings Pin Badge C2
$39.99
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WWII era enamel pair US Army Collar pins 240th Coastal Artillery
$45.95
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Vintage ARMY NAVY Production Award Sterling Silver Pins
$18.71
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b3125 WW 2 US Army and Air Force pair of Colonels Eagles pair pin back
$35.00
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WW2 US Army Military 97th Field Artillery FA Dondero DUI DI Distinctive Insignia
$39.99
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WW II US ARMY GLIDER INFANTRY Sterling Silver Badge
$75.00
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Vintage Army Military Cap Badge Screw Back Seal of the United States of America
$3.25
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WW2 US Army Military 112th Medical Brigade DUI DI Distinctive Insignia
$29.99
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ORIGINAL US ARMY AUTO RIFLE QUALIFICATION BAR WITH MOUNTING RINGS
$0.99
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WW2 US Army Military 27th Field Artillery NS MEYER DUI DI Distinctive Insignia
$39.99
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Vintage Sterling Silver United States Army WWII Military Hat Uniform Antique Pin
$19.95
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Vintage Sterling Silver United States Army WWII Military Hat Uniform Antique Pin
$19.95
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Vintage Sterling Silver United States Army WWII Military Hat Uniform Antique Pin
$19.95
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Vintage 10th Army Air Force Khaki Shirt With patch and Colonel Pins
$19.99
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ORIGINAL US ARMY ANTI TANK QUALIFICATION BAR WITH MOUNTING RINGS
$0.99
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WW2 US Army Military Transportation Corps Officer Insignia AMICO ORIGINAL BOX
$69.99
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WW2 Tech 4th Class Patch 1942 Army Jacket Coat Medical Pin Size 40 Uniform MINTY
$112.49
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US ARMY Major Collar Shoulder Rank Insignia Matching Pair Oak Leaves
$19.99
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ORIGINAL US ARMY CARBINE QUALIFICATION BAR WITH MOUNTING RINGS
$0.99
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WWII US ARMY 531st ANTI AIRCRAFT ARTILLERY BATTALION UNIT CREST DI DUI
$14.96
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WWII US ARMY AIR FORCES WINGED PROPELLER LAPEL SWEET HEART DEVICE PATRIOTIC
$7.46
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WWII US ARMY ENLISTED BRANCH INSIGNIA DEVICE ORDNANCE CLUTCH BACK VG
$5.96
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WWII US ARMY BRANCH INSIGNIA DEVICE ROTC CADET EARLY WAR SCREW BACK TYPE VG+
$5.96
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WWII US ARMY 51st AIR DEFENSE ARTILLERY UNIT CREST DI DUI NS MEYER NOS
$14.96
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WWII US ARMY UNKNOWN UNIT CREST DI DUI ON NS MEYER ORIGINAL CARD NOS
$14.96
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WWII US ARMY MARKSMAN BADGE PIN BACK TYPE STERLING SILVER OVERALL GOOD COND
$7.46
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WWII US ARMY OFFICERS BRANCH INSIGNIA DEVICE TRANSPORTATION CORPS AMCRAFT TEST
$5.96
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WWII US ARMY SIGNAL CORPS OFFICER COLLAR INSIGNIA EARLY WAR SCREW BACK
$6.71
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2 Frame US Army force Pacific ocean 1945 And 1941 badges Frame Six Badge
$49.99
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US Army Marksman Qual Badge Field Artillery WWII M0184
$9.99
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Vtg Sterling Silver WWII Army Air Corp Force ID Sweetheart Bracelet With Photo
$64.99
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RARE WW2 US ARMY FINANCE CORPS OFFICER PIN MARKED HLP HIS LORDSHIP PRODUCTS
$10.37
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STERLING SILVER WW2 US ARMY LONG PIN SHARPSHOOTER BADGE MARKED NOBLE STERLING
$12.00
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RARE WW2 US ARMY INFANTRY CROSSED RIFLES HOMEFRONT SWEETHEART LAPEL PIN
$12.99
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WWII 14k Solid Gold US Army Son In Service Enamel Pin
$65.00
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WW2 US Military LOT Ribbon BPOE Medal Wings Buttons Navy Army WW1 Pins US Eagle
$22.50
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ORIGINAL US ARMY HAND GRENADE QUALIFICATION BAR WITH MOUNTING POSTS
$0.99
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WW2 US Army Officer Lapel Pin Brooch MILITARY SWEETHEART HOME FRONT JEWELRY
$24.99
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Army DI pin AAF Southeast Training Command pb nhm Sterling
$4.95
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WW II US ARMY EAGLE INSIGNIA HAT PIN LARGE
$24.95
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WW2 US Army Officer Lapel Pin Brooch MILITARY SWEETHEART HOME FRONT JEWELRY
$24.99
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WWII Army MP Military Police Enlisted Collar Disc Set
$9.99
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Pre WWII 1930s Sterling Army Lieutenant Colonel Shoulder Insignia
$24.97
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Pre WWII Army Artillery F and H Company Coastal Arty Enlisted Discs Lot Of 3
$8.99
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WWII Army MP Military Police Officer Insignia Set by SB RARE MAKER
$22.99
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WWII Theater Made Army Machine Gun Qualification Bars Lot Of 18
$11.99
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WWII Sterling Army Navy USMC First Lieutenant Rank Insignia Sets Lot Of 4
$14.99
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WWII Army Air Forces Flight Officer Insignia Set by Amcraft Acid Test
$19.99
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WWII Theater Made Army Armor Tank Corps Officer Insignia Set
$39.99
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WWII to Korean War Army Major Rank Shoulder Insignia Set by Meyer Gold
$11.99
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WWII Army Medical Corps Doctor Officer Insignia Set With Original Cards
$11.98
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WWII Army 2nd Lieutenant Insignia Set and Officer Hat Badge Lot Of 3 by Smilo
$19.99
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Pre WWII Army MP Military Police Officer Insignia
$12.99
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WWII Bakelite My Little Buddy Army Soldier Home Front Pin
$45.00
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WWII Army Chemical Corps Enlisted Collar Discs Lot Of 4 ZINC BACKS
$17.99
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WWII Sterling Army Sergeant Sweetheart Pin War Veteran Plastic Ribbon On Card
$7.99
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WWII Sterling Army Brigadier General Rank Star Home Front Sweetheart Pin
$39.99
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WWII Army MP Military Police Enlisted Collar Disc Set ZINC BACKS
$9.99
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WWII Army MP Military Police Officer Collar Insignia
$13.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Corps Air Forces AAF Officer Wings Insignia
$12.99
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WWII Army Artillery Officer Insignia Set and Hat Badge Lot Of 3
$19.99
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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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