Gerber first few years of manufacturing their own knives.

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Mossdancer
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Gerber first few years of manufacturing their own knives.

Post by Mossdancer » Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:18 am

Before starting this post I must say that I am only a researcher and all of the information I give has been gleaned from the hard work of others whom I offer my utmost thanks. I have only combined with some sort of coherence that I hope to be understandable.


To all the good people here at AAPK. I offer for your approval this short story of the years between VJ day in August 1945 and into the last part of 1951. The importance of these year is in regards to the beginning of Gerber's actual production of knives in their own factory. These early pieces all had the truncated handle. Some time in the late part of 1951 a pending law suit was settled giving the use of the square looking handle to the winner of the legal proceedings, The first pointy handle was used for awhile in the aluminum form. Last part of the year saw a great war created shortage of aluminum so a synthetic handle of Black Bakelite(Jet) was introduced to a public that did not care for it. Starting in 1952 the aluminum handle was once again put into use.

VJ day was important in that Mr. Gerber elected to manufacture Gerber's own knives. You just might think about how hectic things became with only about a hundred fifty days left till the first of 1946. A monumental task began probably with finding a space, Purchasing equipment for making handles, buying all the grinders buffers etcetera for a cutlery manufacturing business. Finding experienced cutlers was more than likely a big job in itself. After all the purchases spaces had to be allocated for each station need for the task at hand. A question has arisen, did Gerber actually make any knives in 1945? I cant answer that, I have tried contacting Pete Gerber several times to no avail. If any knives were made in 45 it probably was not very many. For the sake of brevity the rest of this article will only speak to the Miming Steak Knife.
I have spoken with probably the most knowledgeable researcher on Gerber's and he had no correction to the premises I used to ascertain which knives I will picture and the year of manufacture I have shown as theirs. If it turns out I am mistaken in any of my assertions I readily
will accept the corrections with supporting documentation.
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These are the seven mimings that I will be dealing with. They are I believe lain out from top two bottom with the earliest on top and the first 1951 on the bottom. They are shown with the Gerber stamp in view,
These are the seven mimings that I will be dealing with. They are I believe lain out from top two bottom with the earliest on top and the first 1951 on the bottom. They are shown with the Gerber stamp in view,
This is a Main side view. You will notice the stamp depth, its proximity to the tang, It is my belief this is the first miming production run. Maybe late 1945, possibly on into 1946.
This is a Main side view. You will notice the stamp depth, its proximity to the tang, It is my belief this is the first miming production run. Maybe late 1945, possibly on into 1946.
You can with somewhat imagination see the subtle differences between this knife and the previous one. I believe this to be the next or the 1946 or if you may the second half of the 45-46 knife. Things will start to be clearer from here on out.
You can with somewhat imagination see the subtle differences between this knife and the previous one. I believe this to be the next or the 1946 or if you may the second half of the 45-46 knife. Things will start to be clearer from here on out.
This is an earmark as it is stamped as a 1947 knife. If you will note the squared off look of the handle has been continued to here.
This is an earmark as it is stamped as a 1947 knife. If you will note the squared off look of the handle has been continued to here.
The knife handle has advanced to a more flowing look. Note the stamp and again the proximity to tang. This was not stamped with a date due to objection from the shops that sold Gerber knives were fearful their customers might not like buying knives from the previous year. As far as I can tell the majority of their kitchen cutlery was stamped this year with a Gerber-10 stamp which was to denote 1948 that it had been Ten years since they had pursued the business of Cutlery purveyors.
The knife handle has advanced to a more flowing look. Note the stamp and again the proximity to tang. This was not stamped with a date due to objection from the shops that sold Gerber knives were fearful their customers might not like buying knives from the previous year. As far as I can tell the majority of their kitchen cutlery was stamped this year with a Gerber-10 stamp which was to denote 1948 that it had been Ten years since they had pursued the business of Cutlery purveyors.
As you can see this mark is Gerber-11<br />which signified 1949 their eleventh year.
As you can see this mark is Gerber-11
which signified 1949 their eleventh year.
The Gerber-12 denotes their twelfth year or 1950.
The Gerber-12 denotes their twelfth year or 1950.
Evidently it must have been decided that 13 would not be use. The tells for 1951 is the chromed blade and the slightly different position of the stamp and the absence of the 12.
Evidently it must have been decided that 13 would not be use. The tells for 1951 is the chromed blade and the slightly different position of the stamp and the absence of the 12.
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Miller Bro's
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Re: Gerber first few years of manufacturing their own knives.

Post by Miller Bro's » Sat Dec 19, 2009 4:32 pm

Moss,

Excellent information, thanks for putting it together! ::tu::


I have several of these Gerber kitchen knives.

In what year did they start stamping the name on the bottom edge of these knives?


Thanks,
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Mossdancer
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Re: Gerber first few years of manufacturing their own knives.

Post by Mossdancer » Sat Dec 19, 2009 5:50 pm

M.B.
The Jets of 51 were stamped high up on the shoulder of the handle. If my research is correct the 51 pointy handle aluminum would show a stamp on the bottom. The bottom stamp was again used from 52 forward. These conjectures I have just made are the reason these knives were mentioned only in passing reference in my article. I have seen photos of the Jet and I did get a boxed set of the pointy handles that had 51 documentation contained within. Needless to say that the record keeping of the early knives was near zilch. Should you need ID help with any of your Gerber's. Feel at ease to contact me by P.M. or email.
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Re: Gerber first few years of manufacturing their own knives.

Post by Miller Bro's » Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:05 am

Moss,

Here are some pics of the set I have. I am missing 4, there were 8 in the set :cry:


Thanks for the help! ::tu::


M.B.
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Re: Gerber first few years of manufacturing their own knives.

Post by junebug » Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:18 am

i also have one w/ the stamp on the bottom......
marked: (the circle ying-yang symbol ???) GERBER-MIMING
and tail swoops upward ............pics ta come ::tu:: ::tu:: ::tu::
"Because tellin' people , i like having a SPYDIEHOLE sounds sooo much better than a THUMBHOLE"
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Re: Gerber first few years of manufacturing their own knives.

Post by junebug » Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:24 am

also check this out on youtube.com.....search: Knife History - Gerber Legendary Blades - Phil Rodenberg.............................an amazing amount of information on gerber!!!!!
hope this helps :roll:
"Because tellin' people , i like having a SPYDIEHOLE sounds sooo much better than a THUMBHOLE"
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Re: Gerber first few years of manufacturing their own knives.

Post by Mossdancer » Sun Dec 20, 2009 4:37 am

junebug:
Phil is a super guy. We communicate every now and then.
Got a half century reunion coming up next year 9 miles south of you.
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Re: Gerber first few years of manufacturing their own knives.

Post by junebug » Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:33 am

ya' know..... for some reason i figured you knew him......only cuz yer also in oregon ::shrug:: .....
and yer apparent knowledge on gerber :wink: :wink:
9 miles south huh..???? must be tulare,ca ??????????? ::shrug:: :mrgreen:
i forgot to take pic..... :shock: ........i'll try in a few!!!
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Re: Gerber first few years of manufacturing their own knives.

Post by scagel » Fri Sep 09, 2022 11:17 pm

Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now I know the Miming i purchased last night at the 'club' meeting is a 1949 model. Unused. slight blade tarnish, guess it to be tool steel
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