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RARE AMICO WWII GOLD FILLED US ARMY AIR FORCE LOWRY FIELD SWEETHEART PIN
$40.00
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WWII US ARMY TRANSPORTATION CORPS OFFICERS COLLAR INSIGNIA PAIR NS MEYER NY
$11.21
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Vintage WW2 US Army Air Force USAAF Military Sweetheart Home Front Pin Brooch
$39.99
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WWII US Army SIGNAL CORPS Pin PRO PATRIA VIGILANS
$15.00
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LOT OF 5 US ARMY ARMORED CAVALRY COLLAR PIN LAPEL DI TANK CROSSED SABRES
$24.99
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PRE WW2 US ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEER OFFICERS COLLAR INSIGNIA CASTLE THEATER MADE
$23.99
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WWII US Army 118th MP Screw Back DI Robbins Co
$9.99
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EARLY US ARMY 135TH INFANTRY SCREW BACKED CREST OR DI NICE
$9.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 201ST INFANTRY REGIMENT SCREW BACKED CREST OR DI LK
$9.99
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WWII 3 Full Size Sterling Silver US Army Air Force Gunner Wings Pin
$89.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 129TH INFANTRY UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED
$9.99
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WW2 ERA USARMY 57TH INFANTRY REGIMENT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED
$15.50
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 34TH INFANTRY HEADQUARTERS UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED
$16.05
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 174TH INFANTRY REGT UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED M M PAULS B
$9.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 132ND INFANTRY UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED
$9.99
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WW2 US Army Enlisted Ranks Musician Collar Disk Screwback
$20.00
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 126TH INFANTRY UNIT CREST ORDI SCREW BACKED NICE
$9.99
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WWII Sterling Army General Staff Officer Star Insignia Lot Of 2
$29.99
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Vintage WWII Silver US ARMY MARKSMAN BADGE Medal Pin Driver W
$39.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 35TH INFANTRY DIVISION UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED SNOW F
$20.50
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 167TH INFANTRY REGIMENT UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED W MAKE
$9.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 9TH INFANTRY UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED NICE
$9.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 31ST INFANTRY UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED MAKER MARKED
$9.99
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WWII Sterling Army Lieutenant Colonel Rank Shoulder Insignia Set
$49.99
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WWII Sterling Army Lieutenant Colonel Rank Shoulder Insignia Set
$49.98
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WWII US Army officers hat cap badge
$5.00
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 29TH INFANTRY UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED MAKER MARKED ON
$9.99
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WWII US Army oak ridge military academy hat cap badge pin
$14.50
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 143RD INFANTRY UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED NICE
$9.99
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WWII sterling Silver 925 US Army Combat Infantry Rifleman Badge World War 2
$14.01
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WWII era US Army tank destroyer officers collar pin
$5.00
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WWII Army Officer Hat Badge Lieutenant Rank Insignia Sets Lot Of 5
$19.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 10TH INFANTRY UNIT CREST SCREW BACKED NICE
$9.99
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WWII US Army military intelligence reserve army security branch collar brass pin
$6.05
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WWII US Army coastal artillery HQ collar brass pin
$5.00
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WWII US Army armored cavalry enlisted collar brass pin
$5.00
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WWII 24KT Gold Plated Bakelite Army Enlisted Hat Badge
$7.99
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WWII US Army engineer collar disc pin company E
$5.00
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 27TH INFANTRY UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED MAKER MARKED
$9.99
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WWII US Army 53rd transportation battalion officers collar pin
$5.00
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WWII Military Canada England Britain Pin Army Officer rank pips Badges 13A1
$16.99
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WWII WAC Womens Army Corps Officer Insignia
$13.99
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WWII US Army 2nd field artillery group collar brass pin
$5.00
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WWII US Army Massachusetts 61st engineer battalion collar brass pin
$5.00
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WWII ARMY STERLING LT COLONEL RANK INSIGNIA
$7.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 131ST INFANTRY UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED
$9.99
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WWII US Army military intelligence collar brass pin
$7.59
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3 RD Armor DUI DI Crest
$62.61
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WW2 US Army Broach M1 Rifle with Bayonet Dress hat with chain pin back
$24.99
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WWII US Army MP military police collar brass company B pin
$6.03
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US Army 3rd Armored Division Spearhead pin DI DUI Crest clutch back
$7.77
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WWII US Army 307th airborne medical battalion officers collar pin
$15.50
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 19TH INFANTRY UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED MAKER MARKED
$10.49
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WWII Army US Officer Collar Insignia Set
$11.99
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WWII Sterling Army or USMC Colonel Rank Eagle Shoulder Insignia
$19.99
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WWII Army Air Corps Air Forces AAF Officer Wings Insignia Set GREAT SHAPE
$21.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 71ST INF 44TH INF DIV NYNG CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED
$9.99
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WWII US Army DI Crest 117th Infantry Regiment CB Hallmarked
$25.00
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 159TH INFANTRY UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED NICE
$9.99
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WW2 US ARMY Military Asiatic Campaign Medal Ribbon Bar 3 8 Pin Back
$3.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 13TH INFANTRY UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED NICE
$9.99
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US Army Officer Coast Artillery Collar Brass 10K Gold Filled Balfour
$14.95
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 22ND INFANTRY BRIGADE UNIT CRET OR DI SCREW BACKED
$9.99
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WWII US ARMY 84th Div Enameled Pin Snowflake Back
$10.99
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US Army Artillery Officer Collar Insignia 1930s Straight Pin Back
$14.95
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 14TH INFANTRY UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED NICE
$9.99
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WWII Army Air Force Sweetheart Pin Sterling
$14.00
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VINTAGE WWII US Army Marksman COAST ARTY Pin Marked NS Meyer NewYork
$0.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY 21ST INFANTRY BRIGADE UNIT CREST OR DI SCREW BACKED
$9.99
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Vintage WWII Sterling Silver ARMY INFANTRY COMBAT Blue Enamel Medal Pin 178g
$13.50
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Pre WWII 1920s Army US Officer Collar Insignia Set
$12.99
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WWII Army US Officer Collar Insignia Set by Meyer AMAZING CONDITION
$16.99
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WWII 1942 Sterling Army Navy USMC Clutchbacks Group Lot Of 18
$23.99
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WWII Sterling Army Navy E For Production Award Pin With Original Packaging RARE
$10.99
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WWII Army Captain Rank Shoulder Insignia Set by Meyer
$10.99
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WWII Sterling Army US Officer Collar Insignia Set HOLLOW BACKS
$12.99
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WWII Sterling Army Captain Rank Shoulder Insignia Set by AE Co
$23.99
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WWII Theater Made Army Air Corps Air Forces Officer Full Size 3 Inch Wings Badge
$12.50
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WWII Sterling Army Captain Rank Shoulder Insignia Set by AE Co
$24.99
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WWII Army US Officer Collar Insignia Set
$13.99
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WWII Army US Officer Collar Insignia Set by Amico
$11.99
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WWII Gold Plated Army Officer Barracks Hat Badge by Amcraft Acid Test
$20.99
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WWII Sterling Army Officer Air Corps Wings Home Front Sweetheart Pins Lot Of 4
$14.99
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WWII Sterling Army Navy USMC First Lieutenant Rank Insignia Set HOLLOW BACKS
$14.99
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Pre WWII Army Infantry G Company Enlisted Collar Disc and Hat Badge Lot Of 2
$7.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Corps Air Forces AAF Officer Wings Insignia
$17.99
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WWII Army Air Corps Air Forces AAF Officer Wings Insignia Set GREAT SHAPE
$21.99
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WWII Army Medical Corps Doctor Officer Insignia Set With Original Cards
$13.99
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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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