GEC CUTLERY INFO
TIPS FOR COLLECTORS
GEC run small batches of knives, around 250, of each type. These will be split between the Tidioute and Northfield brands and then the different scale materials will be assigned. The numbers of each handle type can be very low (around 3 or 4) or slightly higher (20 to 25). This is why GEC produce such a wide and varied selection of knives. The actual totals of what is produced is published at the end of every year and can be found on the main Great Eastern Cutlery website.
The point I'm trying to make is that once some of these patterns are sold they will no longer be available again for a considerable amount of time and I can not guarantee I will be able to order a specific older knife for you. Remember the last two digits of the #code will be the year of production so if you see a knife somewhere on the web that is an older pattern it may be difficult to obtain. So I suppose my bottom line is if you see it and you like it, buy it before they're gone. Sounds corny coming from a trader but the amount of people I have to disappoint as I can't get what they want is the reason that I feel people need to know just how low some of the numbers are in certain scale materials, check out past production total it makes some interesting reading.
Approximately 25 miles east of Titusville, alongside the Allegheny River is located the small town of Tidioute, Pa. Unknown to most folks in the area and even some local residents, is the significant cutlery history of the town in the era from the 1890′s to the 1930′s. Over that short span of years, five separate cutlery manufactories produced knives that today are sought after by collectors who covet the high quality and rare Tidioute brand of these old knives.
After 90 years, we have brought back the Tidioute name with our Tidioute Cutlery branded classic reproduction pocket knives. Much like the original Tidioute Cutlery Co. of circa 1909 to 1916, our new knives have blades made with high quality American made 1095 carbon steel and handled with a variety of materials that include the traditional materials, North American cattle bone and Ebony wood. Also used is the unique and distinctly colored and figured Acrylic Acetate. A tough synthetic but not to be confused with the cellulose acetate very often used in the original Tidioute Cutlery. Like all Great Eastern Cutlery knives, the Tidioute Cutlery brand knives are classically styled and of exceptional craftsmanship and quality. They are good enough to collect, but our emphasis with this brand is with function and performance rather than cosmetic beauty. We have intentionally manufactured them for those individuals who need a tough and durable pocket knife to carry and use on a day to day basis. Ounce for ounce, we feel they are the best buy of any traditional pocket knife made in the USA today. When you pull out your pocket knife, it should say Tidioute Cutlery.
The original Northfield Knife Company was incorporated and operated in Connecticut from 1858 to 1926. Their UN-X-LD Branded knives are highly collectable today. In 2006 Great Eastern Cutlery registered the unused Northfield UN-X-LD trademark, strictly to be used on only the most premium GEC traditional pocket knives. These new classic UN-X-LD knives have all the intricate cosmetic tooling and finishing you would expect to see on well made early 1900′s era pocket knives. The back springs and blades are strictly made with 1095 carbon steel, with all the blades stamp marked and finished to a mirror polish. The master blades are fitted with forged straight nail pulls and cut swaging. All the bolsters are coined and typically decorated with dimples, lines and angeled cuts. The handle covers are processed here at the GEC Bone Works and are of exotic materials such as India Stag Antler, Wooly Mammoth Ivory, Cocobolo Wood, Snake Wood, and North American Cattle Shin Bone with intricately cut textured surfaces. The new Northfield UN-X-LD knives rival the orginals in materials and craftsmanship. They are always made in limited quantities with a portion of each run being serialized. Because of their quality and value they have become the most collectable factory knife made today.
With our two other brands, “NORTHFIELD UN-X-LD and TIDIOUTE CUTLERY”, our emphasis is on making knives much like those made during the golden age of pocket knives, the early 1900′s. They are made using mostly very traditional handle materials with blades made from 1095 carbon steel, quite often referred to as “your grand dads steel”. When properly heat treated and ground, 1095 carbon steel will produce a very tough blade of high polish that will easily take and hold an extremely keen edge. But it will always have one drawback. It will stain and rust. That is not a problem for many but to satisfy the need for a knife that will not stain and rust we have our Great Eastern Cutlery line of knives with blades and springs made of stainless steel.
This brand, also made in classic pocket knife designs and of exceptional craftsmanship, has blades of 440C stainless Steel. It was not until the 1950′s when stainless steel started catching on with pocket knife manufacturers and consumers. 440C stainless was one of the first stainless blade steels designed for the cutlery market. It is still being used and is still one of the very best stainless cutlery steels. It attains a very high hardness when heat treated. With it’s blend of alloys that make it exceptionally tough, it can be brought to an edge easier than tool steels and can be mirror polished as good as any, and will not rust. We try to keep our Great Eastern Cutlery knives as All American as possible by using American cattle bone, American elk antlers and American hardwood for handle materials. They are easily recognizable with the Great Eastern Cutlery acorn shield.
How to ID GEC Knives
The first two numbers will denominate pattern type.
The next the style of the main blade.
The fourth denotes how many blades the knife has.
The last two are the year of manufacture.
For Example: the tang stamp 735210
#73 = Pattern number (Scout)
5 = The main blade (Drop Point/Skinner)
2 = The knife has two blades
10 = It was made in 2010
*Not guaranteed to work with knives before 2008
Pattern Types plus Overall Size in Inches
#12 Toothpick 4"
#23 Jumbo Square End Trapper (Pioneer) 4 1/2"
#25 Swell End Jack 3"
#25 Barlow 3"
#26 Sleeveboard 3"
#28 French Kate (Boot Pattern) 3 1/4"
#33 Conductor 3 3/8"
#36 Sunfish 4 1/4"
#45 Lumberjack 4 3/8"
#46 Whaler 4 3/8"
#48 Slim Dog Leg 3 7/8"
#53 Equal End Cigar 4 1/8"
#54 Equal End Cigar 4 1/8"
#56 Reverse Dog Leg 3 ½"
#57 Geppetto Whittle/Wrangler 3 ½"
#61 Square Bolster Congress 3 ¾"
#62 Easy Pocket Congress 3 ¾"
#65 Ben Hogan 1865 4 ½"
#66 Equal End Serpentine 3 ½"
#68 White Owl 3 ½"
#72 Mini Folding Hunter 3 7/8"
#73 Scout Square End Trapper 3 ¾"
#85 Bullet End Jack 3 5/8"
#89 Melon Tester 4"
Most of our knives the actual sharpened blade length will be 3” or under except for the #23, #45, #46, #65 and #89, those blades are approx. 3 ½” long.
Main Blade Identifer
1. Regular Clip
2. Regular Spear
3. Sheep Foot
5. Drop Point/Skinner
6. Sabre Clip
7. Sabre Spear
8. Muskrat Clip
9. Cotton Sampler
BH. Big Horn (Two Clip Blades)
BJ. Big Jack (Moose Set up on same end)
DP. Double Pulls
EC. End Capped
EO. EZ Open
FB. Flat Bolsters
FT. Furtaker (Improved Muskrat Bladeset)
LH. Left Handed Model
LP. Long Pull
SAB. Sabre Ground
SB. Pre 2008 used periodically for single blade.
The serialised knives have the number engraved on the front of the bolster.