Fredrick, Dominick and Anthony created a legendary business. Big sales to hardware stores, lots of advertising knife orders from company’s and large military contracts kept Colonial very busy.
Colonial supplied many different knives to the US Military. A couple of the most well known ones are the US Navy’s Mark 1 fixed blade knife and the US Navy Pilot survival knife. There were also orders for other special purpose military jack knives such as electricians knives and sailors knives.
The Mark 1 was purchased from Colonial by the US Navy in huge quantities. They were issued throughout WWII and remained in inventory through the Vietnam War.
Below is a picture of a US Navy Mark 1 made by Colonial.
The US Navy pilots survival knife, nicknamed the giant jack knife by the men who used it, was a big folding knife with 2 blades, one of which was a saw. The US Navy discovered that in many emergency’s such as being under attack, a ship sinking or a plane going down the men didn’t have their fixed blades on them and they would not have them when they needed them most.
The US Navy ordered the pilots survival knife from Colonial to go in the C-1 Sustenance/Survival Vest. During this time Antonio Paolantonio served on the war production board in Washington D.C where he oversaw the allocation of steel to the cutlery industry.
Below is a picture of Antonio Paolantonio pointing at the colonial knife that was included in the C-1 survival vest.
The Pictures below are the Navy pilots survival knife.
Below is the Colonial marking from the blade of the US Navy pilots folding survival knife.
The Military contracts were just a part of what made Colonial knife so successful.
During its time Colonial sold millions of knives and registered over a dozen different brands.
Forest Master (1934), Topper (1938), Ranger (1938), Tiny Champ, Cub Hunter, Sport Topper, Master,(1939) Junior Topper (1940), Snappy and Sure Snap (1948), and Fish Master (1949). They also had the Ambassador line which they started in 1951. Ambassador was a line of fine gentleman’s knives mostly sold in department stores and men’s clothing stores.
Below are some old Colonial Knife advertisements.