Yep, that’s right—a thoroughbred racehorse.
Known as The American Blade at the time, the magazine was traded by then-publisher Jack Marvich to Wally Beinfeld for a racehorse—or at least that’s what Beinfeld reportedly told one of his successors, former BLADE publisher and editor and BLADE Magazine Cutlery Hall-Of-Fame® member Bruce Voyles.
Marvich was a dentist living in New Orleans. He acquired the magazine and served as publisher beginning with the January-February 1974 issue and ending with the November-December issue of the same year. That’s when Beinfeld assumed the, ahem, reins. But first let’s, ahem, backtrack a bit.
Beinfeld ran what was probably the country’s premier antique arms show and, in part to help promote it, published a gun magazine called the Arms Gazette. The Gazette had a large editorial, graphics and production staff that was more than big enough to produce a second magazine. Hence, Beinfeld decided to add a knife publication—The American Blade—to his, ahem, stable.
However, there was one problem. Marvich and Beinfeld could not make a deal, even if, apparently, the racehorse was at least part of the payment.
“They were sitting there talking about it one day and the more they talked, the worse it got,” Voyles recalled Beinfeld’s version of what happened.
Beinfeld and Marvich were making no headway at all. Finally, Beinfeld stood to call the whole thing off and leave when in walked Marvich’s wife.
“Marvich looked at her and said, ‘Honey, the deal’s not going to go through, we just can’t come to terms.’ And she looked at him and said, ‘What about my racehorse?’ And in Wally’s words, ‘So I sat back down.’ From what I understand,” Bruce recalled, “I don’t know if the racehorse was just part of the deal or what, but I believe it was the entire deal. That was the way it was told to me.”
And, thus, Beinfeld bought The American Blade. Bruce said he can’t recall the horse’s name, which is understandable considering how long ago it was. Meanwhile, Mr. Beinfeld passed away a few years back, and we don’t know the whereabouts of Mr. and Mrs. Marvich.
As for the horse, here’s hoping he was put out to stud and lived happily ever after. (Insert your impression of a horse whinnying here.)
Subscribe to BLADE Magazine
Sign up for a subscription to the world’s foremost knife magazine here, no horse required.
1973 BLADE magazine issues in digital PDF! Delivered straight to your e-mail inbox for instant download. It’s 1973, and the future of the modern knife industry was being forged by a pioneering group of knifemakers with a magazine and a mission. Get these collectible first issues of the World's #1 Knife Publication! Click Here to Download the Pack