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WWII WAC Womens Army Corps Officer Insignia and Ribbon Lot Of 2
$19.99
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VINTAGE US ARMY MEDIC 7 8 PIN BADGE STERLING
$75.00
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WW2 WWII US Army US Screwback Brass Collar Disk 3033
$7.99
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FOX WW2 ARMY NAVY E WARTIME PRODUCTION AWARD LARGE SIZE STERLING
$19.99
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WW2 ERA US ARMY INFANTRY CROSSED RIFLE SWEETHEART PIN CARVED WOOD
$24.99
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3 World War II US Army Air Force PILOT Wings Badge Sterling Silver
$30.75
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WWII Army Air Forces Wings Enlisted Disc Set and Hat Badge Lot Of 3 ZINC BACKS
$14.99
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4 WW2 Pieces 2 Navigators Wings 1 Second Lt Bar and 1 US Army Insignia Pin
$75.00
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WWII STERLING ARMY RUPTURED DUCK HONORABLE DISCHARGE PIN US WW2 SCREW BACK
$11.50
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Original WW2 US Army Sergeant Sweetheart Insignia Marked Sterling 7 8 tall
$19.99
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces AAF 4th Air Force DI Unit Crest Pin
$16.99
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Pre WWII Army Armor Tank Corps Infantry M Company Enlisted Discs Lot Of 14
$23.99
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WWII US Army Visor Cap Badge
$5.99
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WWII to Korean War Army Branches Of Service Enlisted Collar Discs Lot Of 25
$24.99
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1940 WWII Army Air Force Defense Artillery 57th Bomber Wing Brass Officers Pin
$7.99
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Sterling Silver Pineapple Grenade 16 Necklace WWII Army Air Force Bombardier
$49.99
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WWII US Army Air Force Pin wheel Patch on Wool
$8.99
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Collection US Army WWII V3 Military rank pins buttons collar discs ribbon bar
$49.95
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WWII Sterling Army Navy E For Production Excellence Award Pin Free Shipping
$9.50
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WWII 1941 1945 US ARMY CAMPAIGN VICTORY FREEDOMS MEDAL COIN w RIBBON +3 BAR PINS
$28.00
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WWII US ARMY INSIGNIA REDUCED PRICE
$5.00
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1940s WW2 STERLING UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCES TECHNICAL TRAINING COMMAND PIN
$15.99
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1940s WW2 STERLING UNITED STATES ARMY BASIC PARACHUTE BADGE SPECIAL FORCES
$55.00
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GEMSCO NY 1940s WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE PILOTS WING MILITARY WING
$110.00
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NS MEYER NEW YORK 1940s WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY 5TH REGIMENT DI MILITARY PIN
$9.99
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WWII Bakelite Army Infantry Home Front Sweetheart Pin VERY NICE
$25.49
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WWII Army Air Corps Pilot Collection Wings Medal Patches ID From Private
$125.95
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1940S WW2 STERLNG UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE COLONELS COLLAR MILITARY PIN
$17.99
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SHOLD R FORM MEYER STERLING WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY COLONELS MILITARY COLLAR PIN
$25.99
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1940s WW2 STERLING UNITED STATES ARMY LT COLONELS MILITARY PIN COLLAR INSIGNIA
$15.00
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US Army Glider infantry Badge
$90.00
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ORIGINAL US ARMY QUALIFICATION EXPERT BASIC BADGE WITH RIFLE BAR
$1.99
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LGB 1940s WW2 STERLING UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE COLONELS MILITARY PIN
$175.00
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ORIGINAL US ARMY FIELD ARTILLERY QUALIFICATION BAR WITH MOUNTING RINGS
$0.99
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VANGUARD 1 20th SILVER FILLED UNITED STATES ARMY LT COLONELS MILITARY PINS
$11.99
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UNITED STATES ARMY TRAINGING DOCTRINE COMMAND PIN FREEDOMS FORTRESS
$4.99
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UNITED STATES ARMY TRAINGING DOCTRINE COMMAND PIN FREEDOMS FORTRESS
$4.99
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BELLS TRADING POST STERLING WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY PISTOL EXPERT SHOOTERS BADGE
$9.99
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1940s WW2 UNITED STATES ARMY COLONELS MILITARY COLLAR PIN INSIGNIA
$13.00
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WWII Army Navy USMC Marines Pennant American Flag Home Front Pins Lot Of 6
$10.19
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WWII Army Armored Division Sherman Tank 3 Sons In AAF Wings Home Front Pins
$17.84
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NS MEYER INC STERLING UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE CAPTAINS MILITARY PINS
$17.99
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SHOLD R FORM MEYER 1940s WW2 STERLING UNITED STATES ARMY 1ST LIEUTENANT BAR
$9.99
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WW2 Army Military US Officer Transportation Collar Insignia Pins
$16.00
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RARE WWII US Army 8th army EUSA Depot theatre made pocket badge pin
$19.95
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Wwii Army Enlisted Collar Brass
$10.00
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Engineer Corps Sweetheart Pin WWII US Army Sterling Silver M0578
$14.99
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29th Infantry Regiment US Army We Lead The Way Coat of Arms Pin
$5.95
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Vintage Original US Army Officer Helmet Cap Hat Gold Eagle Badge Screwback Pi
$49.50
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WW2 Korean War US ARMY MILITARY AIRBORNE JUMP WING BADGE INSIGNIA PIN STERLING
$69.95
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VINTAGE WWII US ARMY STERLING SILVER MACHINE GUN MARKSMAN MEDAL PIN
$20.00
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WW11 Army Navy Award Pin military metal jewelryVintage Tie Bar Original
$4.99
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WW2 Army Aircorp
$9.99
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WWII US DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY 10 TEN YEARS SERVICE PIN SCARCE WARTIME ISSUE
$9.99
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WWII Army Infantry Sergeant Enlisted Disc and Dog Tags Sets Patches Lot Of 15
$31.44
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WWII Army Cavalry Officer Insignia GREAT SHAPE
$12.74
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces AAF Officer Wings and Propeller Sweetheart Pin
$12.72
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WWII Gold on Sterling Army Major Rank Insignia Lot Of 3 by Amico
$25.49
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Officer Wings and Propellers Insignia Set by Smilo
$48.44
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Officer Wings US Insignia Sets Lot Of 4 by Smilo
$55.24
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WWII Army MP Military Police Enlisted Disc Set and Hat Badge Lot Of 3
$8.49
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WWII Army Cavalry Officer Insignia
$16.99
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WWII Sterling Army and Navy Son In Service Home Front Pins Lot Of 3
$10.19
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WWII Sterling Army Air Corps Air Forces AAF Officer Wings Insignia GREAT SHAPE
$16.15
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WWII Sterling Army Air Corps Air Forces AP Airplane Mechanic Badge
$46.75
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WWII Army MP Military Police and AAC Wings Enlisted Discs Lot Of 4 ZINC BACKS
$15.29
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WWII Sterling Army CIB Combat Infantry Badge VERY NICE SHAPE
$30.59
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Officer Wings and Propellers Insignia Set by Smilo
$46.74
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WWII Subdued Army Officer Hat Badge and First Lieutenant Insignia Set Lot Of 3
$16.99
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WWII Army Medical Corps Dog Tags T42 42 Set Enlisted Discs Set Lot Of 4
$29.74
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WWI WWII Army Air Forces Engineer For Christ And Country Home Front Pins
$10.19
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WWII Army MP Military Police Officer Insignia by AE Co
$10.19
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WWII Sterling Army Air Corps AF AP Airplane Mechanic Badge Unusual Large Q Bar
$50.99
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WWII 1942 Army Navy USMC Flat Brass Clutchbacks Lot Of 20
$23.79
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WWII Army MP Military Police Officer Insignia and Enlisted Collar Disc
$16.99
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WWII General Pattons Famous 3rd Army DI Unit Pin and Patch GREAT SHAPE
$15.29
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WWII Sterling Army Two Piece CIB Combat Infantry Badge With Sterling Clutches
$159.99
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WWII Army Engineer Center Fare Fac AAF Technical Training Command DI Pins
$11.04
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WWII Army Ordinance and US Officer Insignia Sets Lot Of 4 by Meyer Metal
$15.29
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WWII Army Over Seas Home Front Ribbon and Ruptured Duck Tie Pin Lot Of 4
$12.74
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WWII Army Navy USMC Second Lieutenant Helmet Badge
$18.69
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WWII Army Air Force Wings Enlisted Collar Disc Sets Lot Of 4 ZINC BACKS
$11.89
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WWII Sterling Army Air Forces Officer Wings Insignia Lot Of 2 GREAT SHAPE
$16.14
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WWII Army Air Forces Officer Wings and Propellers US Officer Insignia Sets
$25.49
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WWII Gold Plated Army Infantry Officer Insignia Set by Balfour
$15.29
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WWII Army Officer Hat Badge GREAT SHAPE
$13.59
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WWII Army Cavalry Officer Insignia by Amcraft
$13.59
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Pre WWII 1920s and 1930s Army Enlisted Hat Badges Lot Of 2
$10.19
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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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