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Login Name Post: When was Nessmuk carried??        (Topic#191530)
Nifeman 
45 Cal.
Posts: 904
Nifeman
03-01-06 10:38 AM - Post#243922    


Hey fellers, does anyone know what time frame the Nessmuk style knife was carried? I made one today and was wondering if it was PC...Bud


 
LeatherMoose 
45 Cal.
Posts: 746
03-01-06 11:13 AM - Post#243939    

    In response to Nifeman

If I recall correctly, Nessmuk the man lived late 19th century. He was a back to nature type fellow, way before his time.

 
Anonymous 
03-01-06 01:20 PM - Post#243979    

    In response to Nifeman

Nessmuk himself was late 19th century, but that style of knife is a bit older and is also called a "Green River" skinner by some folks. Russell makes one like it that they just call the hunting knife pattern. Nessmuk used a Green River skinner and it came to be called a Nessmuk pattern, but he did not invent it. Nice knife you have there. It is a good using pattern, which Nessmuk coupled with a two blade folder and small axe for field use.

 
Nifeman 
45 Cal.
Posts: 904
Nifeman
03-01-06 02:36 PM - Post#244010    

    In response to Mike Roberts

Thanks fellas. Was just curious...Bud

 
Mark Lewis 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3370
Mark Lewis
03-01-06 05:36 PM - Post#244091    

    In response to Mike Roberts

I have to disagree. He designed the knife. It's not really anything like a Green River Skinner. It's a third quarter of the 19th c. knife. I just ordered a custom Nessmuck, but it's for hunting and camping only. (not living history)

This is the Nessmuk I have on order.

http://www.outdoors-magazine.com/s_article.php?id_article=179

Edited by Swampman on 03-01-06 05:45 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Anonymous 
03-02-06 08:21 AM - Post#244447    

    In response to Mark Lewis

swampman, I would like to see your reference for that ("he designed the knife"). I disagree that it is nothing like a Green River skinner. I own three Nessmuk copies and used to have a Green River skinner, but gave it to a friend recently--basically it looks just like the knife the original poster shows (above), except with wood slab handles. Marbles later (early 20th century) modified the pattern to make their popular Woodcraft knife, which I like as a using knife even more. Nessmuk's little book Woodcraft makes an excellent read.

 
Deadeye 
54 Cal.
Posts: 1944
Deadeye
03-02-06 09:10 AM - Post#244461    

    In response to Nifeman

Nifeman, I like your knife, in fact, like it better than the one Swampman ordered but have to agree with Swampman neither look like any Green River skinner that I ever saw.

 
Anonymous 
03-02-06 09:35 AM - Post#244470    

    In response to Deadeye

  • Deadeye Said:
Nifeman, I like your knife, in fact, like it better than the one Swampman ordered but have to agree with Swampman neither look like any Green River skinner that I ever saw.


Let me clarify: I think you guys are thinking about the "mountain man's" Green River knife--the trade knife, or maybe Russell's sheep skinner style. The knife style known as a Green River skinner is what Russell called their "hunting knife" and its blade shape is like the first one pictured above, with a plain slab handle. The blade is about 4-5" long. I wish I had a photo, but I gave mine away. In the knife collecting world you will find such knives called either Nessmuk or Green River styles pretty much interchangeably. I know Nessmuk designed the little two edged hatchet he carried, and he very well may have designed the blade of the knife--I would like to see the reference, because I was under the impresson that the style pre-existed. No doubt he popularized it and Marble's cashed in on his fame by naming their knife Woodcraft after Nessmuk's book title.

 
Anonymous 
03-02-06 10:13 AM - Post#244486    

    In response to Mike Roberts

According to the Koval Knife catalog, the Russell knife I am talking about is now called their "sheath knife" blade (try googling up Koval Knives--Russell). It is 4.5" long and makes a good hunting knife. As they state, it is basically a short butcher style. The one I had, marked Russell, was very close to pic#1 above.

 
Nifeman 
45 Cal.
Posts: 904
Nifeman
03-02-06 03:29 PM - Post#244643    

    In response to Deadeye

  • Deadeye Said:
Nifeman, I like your knife, in fact, like it better than the one Swampman ordered but have to agree with Swampman neither look like any Green River skinner that I ever saw.

Seems like I started a real discussion here. I looked on one of my affiliate knife forums and found this little read:
Link

Hopefully this will clarify a bit better...Bud


 
Nifeman 
45 Cal.
Posts: 904
Nifeman
03-02-06 03:44 PM - Post#244651    

    In response to Nifeman

  • Nifeman Said:
  • Deadeye Said:
Nifeman, I like your knife, in fact, like it better than the one Swampman ordered but have to agree with Swampman neither look like any Green River skinner that I ever saw.

Seems like I started a real discussion here. I looked on one of my affiliate knife forums and found this little read:
Link

Hopefully this will clarify a bit better...Bud


Here's another link I found after posting this:
Link
If you would, read the part by Dan Schectman. He claims Sears designed the knife...Bud


 
Joe Yanta 
45 Cal.
Posts: 513
03-02-06 03:52 PM - Post#244655    

    In response to Nifeman

What I have learned about Nessmuk is that he chose his equipment very carefully. In Chapter 2 of his book "Woodcraft and Camping" he writes in length about traveling a great distance to have his double bitted axe made. He also took a wooden model of the axe to the company. I believe the company was Bushnell. I have lent the book out so I am just going by memory here. I would think that if he went to so much trouble and expense to have his axe made he probably did the same with the knife. He was born in 1821 the Woodcraft book was published in the early 1880's. He sketched the knife in the book indicating he had it before then. From 1850 until the Civil War, even tho frail, he would have probably been in his prime. I have no documentation to back it up, in my opinion he designed the knife and it was made during this time.

If I had Nessmuk's original knife and Jim Bowie's original knife I could retire.

Joe

 
TN.Frank 
45 Cal.
Posts: 768
TN.Frank
03-02-06 03:53 PM - Post#244656    

    In response to Nifeman

"This Nessmuk Knife has a 4 3/4" hand forged, flat ground, high carbon steel blade that is 1/8" to 3/16" thick at the hilt and tapers to the tip. The full tang, pinned, 4 1/2" handle can be wood or antler. Starts at $190"
They can keep it for $190 bucks, gee. I can get an "Old Hickory" butcher knife that'll do just as well for about $10 bucks.

 
Joe Yanta 
45 Cal.
Posts: 513
03-02-06 04:07 PM - Post#244661    

    In response to Nifeman

By the way Nifeman, I think you did an outstanding rendition of Nessmuk's knife. I like what you did. How do you plan on carrying it?

Joe


 
Mark Lewis 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3370
Mark Lewis
03-02-06 04:39 PM - Post#244678    

    In response to Mike Roberts

The original Nessmuk is much less curved than the Green River Skinner, it's shorter, and it has the blade tang driven into the antler handle. It is a lot different than the Green River Skinner.

Dan Shechtman is an awesome writer. I have one of his magazine articles I've probably read 40 times.

Edited by Swampman on 03-02-06 04:42 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Anonymous 
03-02-06 04:42 PM - Post#244681    

    In response to Joe Yanta

well, we're beating a dead horse and it probably ain't important, but if you look at Dan Schectman's site (above) the knife he shows is basically a shortened butcher knife style blade. the custom knives on the market are all individual interpretations of Nessmuk's drawings. Like I said, I have three myself. I have no doubt that Nessmuk had the knife custom made for himself and instructed the maker as to the style he wanted. That is not the same as "inventing" it. Just as he did not invent the double bit axe, but had a custom one made to his specs. You all may be correct, but I have not seen documentation that he invented this pattern--just people's guesses--and I thought that the basic tip style was much like pre-existing butcher knives. I also do not know when Russell introduced their 'sheath knife' which has a similar style blade. And I do not know when the term Green River skinner came to be applied, but it seems that there is a relationship between the Russell Green River Works and the name. Being a knife collector, I would like to know.

 
Anonymous 
03-02-06 04:51 PM - Post#244686    

    In response to Mark Lewis

  • Swampman Said:
The original Nessmuk is much less curved than the Green River Skinner, it's shorter, and it has the blade tang driven into the antler handle. It is a lot different than the Green River Skinner.

Dan Shechtman is an awesome writer. I have one of his magazine articles I've probably read 40 times.


Once again, you are confusing the old Russell Green River skinner pattern with what I am talking about. The Russell 'sheath knife' pattern is what has become known as the Green River skinner or Nessmuk. I know it is confusing. If you peruse the old custom knife books you will see alot of knives that look like the Nessmuk pattern, but marked Green River pattern. I have been collecting knives for near 40 years, but only relatively recently has there been a revival of the Nessmuk style. All this nomenclature may not mean anything--or it may be a clue as to origins, which I am interested in.


 
Nifeman 
45 Cal.
Posts: 904
Nifeman
03-02-06 05:35 PM - Post#244706    

    In response to Joe Yanta

  • Joe Yanta Said:
By the way Nifeman, I think you did an outstanding rendition of Nessmuk's knife. I like what you did. How do you plan on carrying it?

Joe


Thanks Joe, and thank you all very much. This has been an enlightening experience in one mans history.
Anyway, to answer your question Joe, I'll probably have my better half make one of her simple pouch sheaths for this knife as it's a simple design...Bud


 
Roundball 
Cannon
Posts: 22964
Roundball
03-02-06 06:07 PM - Post#244716    

    In response to Nifeman

Not trying to pass off TC as a history source, but I cut and pasted the appended text from inside the rear cover of TC's 2005 catelog...I received one of these "Nessmuk" knives as a memento for letting TC use photos of bucks I'd taken with TC Hawken Flintlocks.
============================================= =================
T/C No. 15 "Nessmuk" Knife by Buck

George Washington Sears (pen name: "Nessmuk"), at the age of 59, weighing 105 pounds and weak from pulmonary tuberculosis, canoed the Fulton chain of lakes in the Adirondacks in 1880.

When he went into the Adirondacks, his entire load, including his canoe and two days provisions, never weighed more than 26 pounds.

He favored a "trinity" system of cutting tools; a custom-built double-bit hatchet, a substantial moose-pattern folding knife, and a light, fixed, thin blade knife "handy for skinning, cutting meat, or eating with."

This limited edition "Nessmuk" knife is made exclusively for Thompson/Center by Buck’s Custom Shop…Limited to 150 knives, the No.15 knife features a 4 3⁄4” flat grind blade with the distinct "Nessmuk" profile.

Grips are made of North American Elk with a lanyard hole for a thong. Each knife will be marked T/C No.15 "Nessmuk" and serialized 001 through 150...a leather pouch-style sheath is included. No.9203 $161.95


 
Roundball 
Cannon
Posts: 22964
Roundball
03-02-06 06:19 PM - Post#244723    

    In response to Roundball

http://tcarms.com/TC_IMAGES/TC%20CATALOG%2032%202005.pdf

 
Mark Lewis 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3370
Mark Lewis
03-02-06 09:20 PM - Post#244832    

    In response to Mike Roberts

No, I know exactly which knives you are talking about. The Nessmuk is very different.

 
Anonymous 
03-03-06 07:30 AM - Post#244968    

    In response to Mark Lewis

  • Swampman Said:
No, I know exactly which knives you are talking about. The Nessmuk is very different.


Well, then I am confused, because the Nessmuk has more curve than the knife I am referring to. Let me conclude my thoughts on this style knife: Let's leave out the Green River reference because it is just confusing the issue (for me too).
(1) Nowhere in Nessmuk's book does he say he invented this knife (or even that he had it custom made)--I checked.
(2) The shape of the Nessmuk knife is the same or very similar to the front half of one of the standard butcher knife shapes made by a large number of companies. I am still trying to establish their introduction, but some references indicate as early as the late 1700s.
(3) Before and during the "Nessmuk" era numerous factories and individuals made knives with blades of this shape from California to the east coast to Europe.
This is what I know, based on my extensive collection of knife literature. I am still waiting for someone to show me a reference that documents (not speculates) that Nessmuk 'invented' this style. One of the problems is that simple butcher knives are notoriously hard to date accurately--for the reason that they did not change much over a long time span. But, catalogs with dates that show a particular knife style can be used at least to date existence, if not first use. There are only a limited set of useful knife blade shapes and man has used them all at one time or another for centuries. Again, Nessmuk very well may have had this knife (pictured in his drawing) made to his specs... he does not say so, and in fact the way he describes it could just as well be interpreted the opposite, that he bought it because he preferred this shape over others available (he mentions the Bowie, for example). He also says it had a thin blade--not at all like the one someone posted being used to chop wood! Nessmuk did not use his knife for that--that is what is axe was for! The lessons from Nessmuk still are valid: in the woods, a good pocket knife, a moderate size utility sheath knife and a small axe are very useful tools.


 
Mark Lewis 
69 Cal.
Posts: 3370
Mark Lewis
03-03-06 03:09 PM - Post#245156    

    In response to Mike Roberts

OK, your right....

 
Anonymous 
03-03-06 03:13 PM - Post#245159    

    In response to Mark Lewis

swampman, I really did not intend to make this a pi**ing contest, I don't care who is 'right' or wrong, I am just looking for some historical facts. I hope you did not take my comments the wrong way. I do not know for a fact that Nessmuk did not 'invent' the pattern, but the info I have is suggestive that he did not. I am still open to additonal info.

 
NWTF Longhunter 
50 Cal.
Posts: 1129
NWTF Longhunter
03-03-06 08:19 PM - Post#245274    

    In response to Mike Roberts

I've had these two Russell Green Rivers for 30 years. As far as I know they're still being made.




 
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