Home Knife History

Knife History

The history of knives and other edged instruments is tied to the history of people in general. As humankind’s oldest tool, unraveling knife history can lead to even more surprising and enriching information to better understand the world.

Why Are Switchblades Illegal?

Here's the history behind the 1958 Federal Switchblade Act, which banned automatic knives in interstate commerce. Pop culture paranoia played a role in its passage.
Balisong knife history

History: The Disputed Origins of the Butterfly Knife

Where did butterfly knives originate? Some say the Philippines. Others say it's a French variation of a Pied Du Roi. Here's a look at both claims.
Abraham Lincoln knife

Abraham Lincoln’s $100,000 Pocketknife

How much is a pocketknife owned by Abraham Lincoln worth? Around $100,000, according to this example.
Davy Crockett picture

The Sea of Mud Knife: James Bowie’s Knife Found? Pt. 3

Did Davy Crockett purchase the Sea of Mud knife, a bowie knife with hotly debated provenance, on his way to the Alamo? The two legends may have crossed paths, according to records from the 1830s.
Racehorse

That Time that BLADE Magazine was Traded for a Horse

It happened in the 1970s, which probably explains a lot. BLADE magazine was indeed traded in a deal that involved a racehorse, and knife history would never be the same.
Baby Shark knives

Photos: World War II Fixed Blade Knives

To recognize Armed Forces Day in the United States, BLADE takes a look back at the fixed blade knives of World War II that accompanied those in uniform.

The Sea of Mud Knife: James Bowie’s Knife Found? Pt. 2

In part two of this series about the "Sea of Mud Knife," a knife that may have belonged to Jim Bowie, historian James Batson examines where this intriguing knife could have originated.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement