Dating western w49 bowie knife

26-Feb-2015 17:21

The earliest examples of these original survival weapons were made of minerals such as flint, which could be sharpened on both edges, as well as to a deadly point.Of course, human beings used knives as protection from other human beings, too, which is one reason why primitive materials such as stone eventually gave way to copper, bronze, iron, and finally steel.By the Middle Ages, the term dagger had been coined to describe one of the most common types of fixed-blade knives.It was meant to be thrust at an enemy rather than slashed.

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If folding knives and pocket knives were developed as tools, fixed-blade knives began their history squarely as weapons.

Crude stone blades were carried by Neolithic hunters who, we might guess, were anxious to subdue their prey before being preyed upon themselves.

That might have been the end of the story, but the knife and its namesake gained popular acclaim in 1827 when Bowie used it to kill a sword-cane-wielding attacker in a fight near Natchez, Mississippi. Although the weapon used by Bowie in 1827 had a flat back, subsequent knives featured a clip point, or clip blade, which looked as if a concave slice had been taken out of the blade’s spine about two-thirds of the way toward the point from the handle. Many Bowies had what are known as coffin handles, which is perhaps fitting for a knife that put so many people in them.

Subsequent Bowie knives were produced by New Orleans knife maker Daniel Searles, Arkansas blacksmith James Black, and cutlers in Sheffield England, who copied the Black version, marketed it as an “Arkansas toothpick,” and exported it back to the United States. Another 19th-century cutler was John Russell of Massachusetts, whose Green River Knife was carried by tens of thousands of westward immigrants in the 1840s, ’50s, and ’60s.

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Some variations like the rondel dagger were strong enough to puncture armour and had no edges at all, essentially an ice pick on steroids.

Another branch in the dagger’s evolutionary tree was the stiletto, whose slender, pointed, double-edged blade made it a stealthy, lethal weapon.

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