This product was added to our catalog on Friday 06 July, 2012.
The product of months of development, this pen knife is the first true reproduction of one from Civil War period. While other vendors have either directly imported from Pakistan, or found something close enough, we LITERALLY produced this knife from the ground up. We started with an excavated example purchased from the Horse Soldier and recreated the tool and die work here in the United States.
The New York Knife Company was a collaborative effort started in the late 1850's, as an experiment of sorts. The company was formed from several smaller knife manufacturers in the Orange County New York area. The site of the facility was recently excavated by the state of New York.
New York Knife Company Archeaology
In 1852 a group of trained cutlers left the Waterville Manufacturing Co. to start their own business. They locate in northern Dutchess County, NY.
The village fathers of Walden, needed to replace the failed woolen mills as a source of employment, and began encouraging existing knife manufacturers to relocate to occupy the vacant buildings. The New York Knife Company of Matteawan, NY. (Now Beacon, NY.) Answered the invitation and move to Walden in 1856.
The New York Knife Company made much of the cutlery employed by the Union Army during the U.S. Civil War as listed by Francis Lord‘s Civil War Sutlers and their Wares. In fact, Thomas Wilson Bradley, son of the president of the New York Knife Company, served in the Union Army . He entered service as a private in Co. H of the 124th New York State Volunteer Infantry; The Orange Blossoms. Bradley was promoted to captain and was also aide-de-camp to Major General Mott, Third Division, Second Army Corps. In 1896 he received the Medal of Honor for action at Chancellorsville, Va., May 3, 1863.
Here is his Medal of Honor citation: Rank and organization: Sergeant, Company H, 124th New York Infantry. Place and date: At Chancellorsville, Va., 3 May 1863. Entered service at: Walden, N.Y. Born: 6 April 1844, England. Date of issue: 10 June 1896. Citation: Volunteered in response to a call and alone, in the face of a heavy fire of musketry and canister, went and procured ammunition for the use of his comrades.
In 1876 Bradley is elected to the state assembly and also serves as a delegate to Republican National Convention from New York, 1892, 1896,1900, and 1908. Thomas was elected to Congress and served from 1903-1913. Upon the death of his father in 1903, Thomas also took over management of the knife company.
This is by far one of the most commonly dug pen/pocket knives found in Civil War campsites. Whether these were sent from home or sutler bought, these simple knives found their way into the pockets of the citizen soldier of the 1860s.
The trademark “Hammer Brand” was adopted in 1878. The original trademark had only the picture of a hand & arm with the sleeve rolled up, and a hammer in a raised position. In 1882 the words “Hammer Brand” were added.
In 1904, Thomas found that he couldn’t effectively run the company and serve in congress, so he sold out to the Schrade Cutlery Company. The New York Knife Co. brand existed until 1931.
Please note that the our production lots will be limited to 50 pieces, so make sure to reserve yours as soon as you can!