Western Tang Stamps

In 1911, H. N. Platts, was able to draw on his extensive friendships and family connections in the cutlery world to start Western States Cutlery and Manufacturing of Boulder Colorado. At first only a jobbing business, by 1920 construction and machinery purchases were underway to begin manufacture of knives. Through name changes--to Western States Cutlery Co. in 1953, then Western Cutlery Co. in 1956--and moves first across town and later to Longmont Colorado, the company stayed under the leadership of the Platt family until 1984. In that year, the company was sold to Coleman, becoming Coleman-Western. Eventually purchased by Camillus in 1991, Western continued until Camillus expired in 2007.
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TripleF
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby TripleF » Fri Jul 12, 2013 9:47 pm

Is this from 1928- 1931, 0r 1935 - 1950 ?

It's the BOWIE knife:
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby coffeecup » Sat Jul 13, 2013 9:11 am

Um, neither. The tang stamp dating estimates don't apply to this model.

The WWII-era version had a straight crossguard. Per Western, this knife was introduced as a commercial product in 1964. Based on examples of datable purchases, the mark on your knife was in use from '64-probably sometime in '66. Examples of the next stamp in the sequence (WESTERN/BOWIE/USA) were purchased as early as April 1967.

The sheath seems to be a later example, though it might be original to the knife. The sheath pivot was first cataloged in 1968. From examples of datable purchases, this sheath may have actually reached the market prior to August 1967, but the earliest example I'm aware of can be documented to that month and year.

So you have a nice example of the first version of the W-49 bowie; the sheath may be original or a replacement. It is a wonderful piece of kit, but dates to '64 at the earliest.

Jim

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby tongueriver » Sun Jul 14, 2013 1:31 am

Excellent information, Jim; we all can thank you.

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby coffeecup » Mon Jul 15, 2013 8:17 pm

I hope it is helpful. I need to get in gear and get a synthesis of the information I've gathered on the W49 model posted in one block. With multiple data sources (published information, some examples where the purchases can be dated, and notes from interviews with a couple of former Western employees), it should be reasonably accurate. The big hangup is going to be gathering photos of examples: I'm too broke right now to go out and buy all the examples! :lol:

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby TripleF » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:15 am

Thanks coffeecup. You inspired me to confirm or deny your statements.

Based on a couple other knife forum topics I am agree with your dating, AND I believe this was the first bowie knife produced with this tang stamp....I don't mean it was the first knife off the line, rather this was the original tang stamping used on the blade.
Western
Boulder, Colo USA

BOWIE

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby coffeecup » Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:27 am

Yeah, that is the first tang stamp used when the knife was introduced as a commercial product. Rivet size--"small" relative to later rivets--is another clue that it is an early knife.

On the rare later Westerns done without bifurcated tangs (like the W49), the tang stamp rules for dating don't apply. It almost looks like we'll have to work out model- or pattern-specific dating guidelines.

Jim

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby Mossdancer » Sun Sep 01, 2013 3:47 pm

coffeecup :
Hi Jim, Although not a bowie interesting anyway. Nice stamp of a West-Cut. My question is it does not have the split tang. Is it before the patent or a newer example.
I don't know if it will help but I also gave a close up of the pommel rivet.
moss
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby coffeecup » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:06 pm

Moss, my hunch is that your knife was an SFO made for Western. Definitely not a split tang, but the knife definitely post-dates adoption of the split-tang construction. (Aside from the tang stamp, look at the pommel: they adopted that form after the split-tang. Some of the early split-tang knives still have the earlier "mushroom" pommel.)

Western was pretty-heavily committed to the split tang, doing a knife like this would have required extra work, so I don't think it was done in-house. From what I've been told by a couple of guys who worked for Western, they were still doing this occasionally as late as the 1970s, but I've never seen one. I wonder who made it--Camillus?

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby Mossdancer » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:54 pm

Back again;
Jim, here is I think an example of the next model you spoke of a couple of posts back.
After putting 2 and 2 together I think the original leather may have rotted in the South Viet Nam jungle and a small Red fox offered his hide as a repair for the sheath in the field. Check the thinness of the skin (that is a common dental pick for size).The thickness would to me indicate adapting to live in a hot humid clime. Sheath has the small rivet you referred too. The water hole is present in the lower shot. Could all this rhetoric be viable or not. For anyone who may not know I have added a pic of a later w 49 handle with the large rivets.
moss
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby tygr » Fri Sep 12, 2014 5:08 pm

I'm brand new to the forums and I'd love it if someone could help me identify my Western knives; age, model, style, etc. I really know nothing about knives in general, so anything would be helpful.

I don't have an image of the imprint on the tangs right now, but I do know they say

WESTERN
Boulder, Colo
Pat'd Made in USA

Thanks in advance!
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby tongueriver » Fri Sep 12, 2014 7:39 pm

Your very nice set is shown in the 1959/1960 catalog as a "twin set," with models P48A (the larger) and P28 (the smaller), with red, ivory or yellow "tenite" (celluloid) handles. These sets were also sold with bone or leather-stacked handles. Your set is considered to be a very desirable collectible. If you give it to me, I will tell all my friends that you are a very nice guy. Barring that unlikely scenario, if I were you, I would not use those knives. I would keep them in dark, airy, cool area to protect the celluloid, and lightly oil the steel. Knives in the same general pattern, but less collectible, can be had to use, at a very reasonable price. Not these!

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby FRJ » Sat Jun 27, 2015 9:33 am

Here's a - Western States - Boulder Colo. - Made in USA
4 1/2"
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Joe

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby Mossdancer » Sun Jun 28, 2015 8:37 am

Have dug out my camera after a long rest. Photo taking seems to take my mind from my departed wife. Slipped quietly into a better place this past Wednesday afternoon. I am not saying this to turn this into a post for platitudes.
These two are I think pretty good examples of old and newer. The photos will explain better than I can.
moss
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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby BurkinshawFan » Sat Oct 10, 2015 4:22 pm

Have an idea on the year of that Western? My 652 has the same exact tang stamp.
trail wrote:Here are two of the three stamps on my Western stockman. The third stamp, on the reverse of the main blade is the model number, 657.
Looking for these knife brands in this order of preference: Burkinshaw, Western, Kabar, Buck, Case, White Stag, Southington and Remington.

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Re: Western Tang Stamps

Postby Mudrigg » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:12 pm

Looking for some help to identify the type of knife pictured and if possible maybe an approximate value. I believe it is the original case and I woul say the condition is fairly good for its approximate age. Anyone have any ideas? I do not see any model number or type in it other than the Western stamp, Boulder Colorado And the Pat'd Made in USA stamps.

Thank you in advance for any insight.
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