Early Examples of Modern Multi-Tools

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    References & Links

    Joseph Rodgers & Sons Military Wire Cutter Knife

    The photos were generously provided to The Multi-Tool Museum by G.L. of New Jersey.  The scans were generously provided to The Multi-Tool Museum by Bernard Levine.  The scan on the far right is from a 1912 Joseph Rodgers & Sons catalog.

    The design was patented in 1900 (RD 354051) and manufactured before and after World War I.   A folding spear point blade and tin opener are housed in one handle of the wire cutter.   A latch prevents the wire cutter from opening when not in use.  There were several variations of this pattern.  The example shown in the photo has a bail attached to the latch.  In the drawing from the 1912 catalog, the bail is attached directly to the pivot pin.  During World War II, three hacksaw blades and a screwdriver were added for use as an "escape knife".

    Ad from The post office directory of Birmingham (1879) digitized by Google Books.

    Ad from Canadian magazine: Volume 12 (1899) digitized by Google Books.

    Bernard Levine's knife-related links page: includes links to information on knives, knife technology, knife history, and knife law. http://www.knife-expert.com/links.htm
    Bernard Levine's internet business card: http://www.knife-expert.com Author, Expert Witness, Identification, Appraisal. 
    Pocket Knives of the United States Military, p. 77-78