J. Russell Green River Works

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19th century America was undeveloped and largely unexplored and unpopulated. Knives were one of the most important and versatile tools available to people who worked the land or explored the wilderness. The practical applications of the simple knife were incalculable. By the dawn of the Civil War every American carried a knife in their pocket, on their belt or stuck in their boot. Knives became so commonplace and popular that games and contests developed around them One of the most popular pastimes in 19th century America was whittling.

In 1834 John Russell of Greenfield, Mass., went into the cutlery business as the "Green River Works". Russell was a very determined individual and this virtue sustained him through several serious setbacks. In time his knives gained popularity for their quality, simplicity and variety. He produced knives for every purpose from small folding pocket knives and hunting and fishing knives to cutlery and Bowie knives. Many of Russell's knives copied the clipped point style of the legendary Bowie.

Eventually, Russell's firm grew to become one of America's largest and most notable cutlery manufacturers. Norm Flayderman, author of the definitive study"The Bowie Knife" wrote that the Green river works "became part of the vocabulary of the American West." The Green River Works' two bladed folding pocket knife called the "Russell Barlow" was made famous by Mark Twain whose characters Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer prized their Russell Barlow knife above all else.

This pair of Russell clipped point knives and scabbards came together. Despite the obvious difference in form they are very similar in construction with only minor discrepancies. it is obvious they were paired as their condition is nearly identical. One has the serrated edge for scaling fish, sawing small bones, or cutting branches and small limbs. The other is a typical hunting/all purpose knife. Both have deep checkered wood grips, iron pins attaching the grips to the blade tang, 4 3/4" blades with 9" overall length. Both have "J. Russell & Co./Green River Works" stamped on the ricasso with a hole near the base for lanyard. Both are sheathed in Russell's standard heavy brown leather scabbards with rear cuts for sliding onto a waist belt. These were probably worn by a hunter or pioneer who used them for different purposes and wanted both to be handy for whatever need arose.

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Your Price:$580.00