Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

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rea1eye
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Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby rea1eye » Sat Aug 17, 2019 8:46 pm

I picked up this Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow yesterday because I live in Louisville and have
started to like the Barlow frame.

What year do you think it was made? The seller thought it was made by Winchester. After I did
some Google research late yesterday it appears Winchester is a division of Blue Grass Cutlery? I am confused.

Bob
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Re: Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby geocash » Sat Aug 17, 2019 10:01 pm

There’s a Blue Grass Cutlery topic on the next page that you might have not seen. You should still be confused after reading that but you might find some of it to be helpful.

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LeftyKnifeGuy
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Re: Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby LeftyKnifeGuy » Thu Aug 22, 2019 5:39 pm

I can't believe you haven't had a response on this.

I have limited knowledge but I'm pretty certain this is not a Blue Grass Cutlery knife. This a knife that was sold by Belknap Hardware store in Louisville, Ky. You may be aware of Belknap since you are in Louisville. The "BLUE GRASS" on the bolster is a model(?) of knife they sold, not a manufacturer or brand name. Don't know who made knives for them (probably several manufactures over the years). What few knifes I've seen that they sold seem to be a pretty decent knife. Do a "Google" search, or maybe search on this site too, and you should be able to glean more and probably more accurate information too. Just an FYI....Belknap sold a lot of stuff and most of it seemed to be of decent enough quality that earned them a good amount of respect.

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Re: Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby Mumbleypeg » Thu Aug 22, 2019 6:21 pm

I believe Lefty is on the right track. Belknap Hardware at one time was one of the largest hardware companies in America. The company's headquarters was in Louisville. They sold several lines of cutlery under brand names John Primble, Pine Knot, and Blue Grass. It's a little confusing because the company named Blue Grass Cutlery was formed in 1988 and sells knives under mostly the same names, plus they also have a license from Olin Corporation to use the Winchester name (Olin owns the Winchester Trademark).

Ken
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Re: Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby bighomer » Fri Aug 23, 2019 3:52 pm

Bluegrass was to Belknap what Craftsman was to Sears & Roebuck, all kinds tools and such. ::tu:: ::handshake::

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Re: Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby rea1eye » Fri Aug 23, 2019 4:37 pm

Mumbleypeg wrote:I believe Lefty is on the right track. Belknap Hardware at one time was one of the largest hardware companies in America. The company's headquarters was in Louisville. They sold several lines of cutlery under brand names John Primble, Pine Knot, and Blue Grass. It's a little confusing because the company named Blue Grass Cutlery was formed in 1988 and sells knives under mostly the same names, plus they also have a license from Olin Corporation to use the Winchester name (Olin owns the Winchester Trademark).

Ken


I am not originally from Louisville, so Belknap was already closed when I moved here. When I bought the knife the
seller thought it was made by Winchester. I did a google search and got more confused. I know for sure Belknap was a
hardware store that was at one time very popular, but then closed. I also had a hunch Blue Grass Cutlery
sometimes had their name on knives but did not actually manufacturer it. Perhaps it was made by Winchester?

Bob

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Re: Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby Mumbleypeg » Sat Aug 24, 2019 3:50 am

Several companies made knives for Belknap, including Böker for sure and probably Schrade, Ulster, and others. I haven’t seen anything about Winchester having made knives for Belknap, but in cutlery there are very few absolutes so in the absence of any further info I wouldn’t rule it out completely. However one of Belknap Hardware’s biggest competitors, Simmons Hardware Company, owned Winchester during much of the time they made pocket knives. That would make me doubt they would make knives for Belknap, at least while Simmons and Winchester were both part of the same company.

As I understand it prior to 1919 there were no Winchester pocket knives. That year Winchester purchased two knife manufacturers, Napanoch Knife Company and Eagle Pocket Knife Company, to got into the knife business. Then in 1922 Winchester merged with E.C. Simmons Hardware Company who already owned Walden Knife Company, to form the Winchester-Simmons Company. So within a three year period Winchester in conjunction with Simmons Hardware (and their KeenKutter brand), is a now big-time knife maker. But also big-time competitor with Belknap. The merger with Simmons didn’t last and in 1931 Western Cartridge purchased Winchester, and the Winchester cutlery line ceased production that year only to be re-instated later. Winchester finally ceased knife manufacturing again with the advent of WWII. Since that time knives marked with the Winchester brand have been manufactured by others.

So in summary, for those reasons my semi-educated guess is your knife wasn't made by Winchester. ::shrug::

Ken
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Re: Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby jxr1197 » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:45 am

The explanations above should sort out the confusion. Blue Grass was a trademarked name for a line of goods Belknap offered and then the name was purchased after they closed, promoted to brand status with former Belknap line-mates such as Primble & India Steel also purchased by the same group and becoming lines under Blue Grass. The same way Genesis was was a car made by Hyundai but suddenly got promoted to 'maker' so now you have Genesis cars with multiple models.
Belknap contracted their knives from many big makers over the years and never relied solely on one supplier at a time. To make things a little blurrier they also switched manufacturers of knives without changing the model number. I collect Schrades so I wanted to find a Primble 5371 stockman made by Schrade (well, technically it was made by Ulster but no need to muddy the waters further.) The problem is I'm aware of at least 3 manufacturers who made the knife for Belknap under that model number and at a fast glance they all look the same. Hold them together and you'll spot the differences.
Belknap's catalogs help sort it out a little because they always sold the lines of their suppliers alongside their own lines. Open a catalog from the '50s or '60s and in the cutlery section there are Primbles and Schrades and Bokers, etc. Sometimes you can figure out the manufacturer of a Primble or Blue Grass by matching it up to manufacturer's knives on the following pages. Sometimes you can't. The Winchester angle was a red herring - they have no history with Belknap. I think Remington was likely who the seller was trying to think of? In the '20s-'30s they were by far the biggest supplier of knives to Belknap, but your knife isn't that old.
The 5721 Barlow is found in the 1937 and 1950 catalogs BUT it's shaped a little different:
5721.jpg

I think what you've got there is actually a 1950s 5724:
5724.jpg

In the '50s the two big suppliers were Schrade and Boker. Wostenholm was a minor supplier as well. That barlow you got there ain't a Boker or a Wostenholm. I'm pretty sure that was supplied by Schrade - but again, actually made by Ulster...oh fudge, the waters got muddied again.
Congrats on finding a nice old Ulster barlow. ::tu::
- Jason

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rea1eye
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Re: Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby rea1eye » Sat Aug 24, 2019 12:50 pm

Thanks guys for the last 5 entries. I think I have a better
"handle" on what my knife is all about!

Bob

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Re: Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby knifeaholic » Sat Aug 24, 2019 1:55 pm

I believe that the posted knife was made by Ulster, circa 1940's to 50's. Somewhat lower quality as compared to the pre-WWII era John Primble knives.
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Re: Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby kootenay joe » Sat Aug 24, 2019 5:30 pm

Lots of helpful info here that is very hard to sort out on one's own. Thank you knowledgeable posters.
kj

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Re: Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby RobesonsRme.com » Sat Aug 24, 2019 7:49 pm

Belknap went out of business circa 1988, about the time I started collecting pocketknives, so I started buying them and had eighteen when I decided to concentrate on Robesons.

I think one of the big hardware companies bought Belknap, either Ace or Tru-Value. Whoever it was, they did not continue the BlueGrass line of tools or any of Belknap's pocketknife lines.

A nice old Belknap catalog. circa 1930's, would have a full color section of Bluegrass tools They all had a nice stick-on label attached.

A bit of Belknap history from a tool website:

http://www.roseantiquetools.com/id5.html

Charlie
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Original-NOS-2-1920s-Belknap-Hardware-Bluegrass-Tools.jpg (30.75 KiB) Viewed 177 times
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rea1eye
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Re: Blue Grass Cutlery Barlow Belknap 5721

Postby rea1eye » Sun Aug 25, 2019 2:32 pm

knifeaholic wrote:I believe that the posted knife was made by Ulster, circa 1940's to 50's. Somewhat lower quality as compared to the pre-WWII era John Primble knives.



Thanks Steve. I keep a running list of all my knives and put Ulster as the manufacturer and 1950 as date made.

Bob


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