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Author Topic: Knife  (Read 15405 times)

Ashley Such

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Knife
« on: August 23, 2010, 05:56:20 PM »

Well, I was reading the second-to-the-last chapter of AE's Last Flight today while at college, and I stumbled upon this sentence: "To this stern rule I made a small exception. It was a sheath knife--- a lovely hand-wrought thing bought at a metal worker's little shop... I plotted to bear this Javanese purchase at my belt over the Pacific..." (213).

I know you guys found a knife on one of the expeditions. Anyone have a clue of what kind of knife ya'll found? Cause, in my opinon, I found that sentence pretty surprising, and remembered how ya'll found a pocket knife at Nikumaroro. O_O
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Mona Kendrick

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Re: Knife
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2010, 10:14:04 PM »

Here's the pocket knife entry on the Ameliapedia:    http://tighar.org/wiki/Pocket_knife.  That's an interesting reminder you brought up, about the Javanese purchase.  If AE had the Javanese knife with her on Niku, perhaps that would account for her willingness to sacrifice the multi-purpose utility of the pocketknife in favor of fashioning its blades into some more specific tools such as fishing spears.  I.e., maybe she had the Javanese knife for general usage.

LTM,
Mona
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Ashley Such

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Re: Knife
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2010, 11:23:23 PM »

Thanks for the link, Mona. :)
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Walter Runck

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Re: Knife
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2011, 09:15:19 AM »

If you had a sheath knife, why would you dissassemble a pocketknife?  You'd end up with a blade without a handle, probably a good deal smaller than the sheath knife and harder to hold.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Knife
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2011, 10:50:37 AM »

If you had a sheath knife, why would you dissassemble a pocketknife? 

As Mona suggested, perhaps to use the blades to make fishing spears.
Nice catch on the Javanese knife Ashley. If the Javanese knife is there we haven't found it - yet.
Or maybe she decided not to take in on the Pacific flight after all.
Or maybe she did and she somehow lost it before she took up residence at the Seven Site.
Or maybe one of the colonists found it and kept it.
Or maybe the person who died at the Seven Site and seems to look so much like Amelia Earhart was someone else we've never heard of.
Or there are probably a hundred other possible reasons the Javanese knife hasn't turned up.

But it would be nice if it did.
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Knife
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2011, 11:01:35 AM »

Quote
If you had a sheath knife, why would you dissassemble a pocketknife?  You'd end up with a blade without a handle, probably a good deal smaller than the sheath knife and harder to hold.

Agree.  A sheath knife could easily be attached to a pole with the handle intact if you wanted to make a spear.  IMHO it would not make much sense to beat apart the pocket knife.  Plus one question that has plaqued me with the fishing spear theory is this.  How deep is the lagoon water right off shore?  Is it shallow enough to stand in and retrieve anything speared from the bottom?  Without a barb of some sort on a spear you are going to have to spear whatever and then hold it against the bottom while you retrieve it or until it dies.  Once you stick a fish with that fishing spear if there is nothing preventing it from coming off the blade it will get off and swim away.  Speared many a sucker (name of a fish that is normally hunted in Upstate NY State by spearing when they are running in the spring in the creeks and streams) with a 3 pronged gigging spear and never killed one instantly.  Even if mortally wounded it is going to swim some distance away from the spear before giving up the ghost.

LTM,

Don
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Knife
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2011, 12:59:35 PM »

 How deep is the lagoon water right off shore?  Is it shallow enough to stand in and retrieve anything speared from the bottom?  

Yes, at low tide the lagoon doesn't get more than waste deep until you're about 100 feet out from the shore.  Out on the ocean reef at low tide small fish often get trapped in tidal pools.  no need for a barb on a spear.
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Ashley Such

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Re: Knife
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2011, 07:28:17 PM »

Nice catch on the Javanese knife Ashley. If the Javanese knife is there we haven't found it - yet.

Thanks, Ric. :) Let's hope it turns out from hiding someday!
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Tim Collins

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Re: Knife
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2011, 07:21:03 AM »

Nice catch on the Javanese knife Ashley. If the Javanese knife is there we haven't found it - yet.

Thanks, Ric. :) Let's hope it turns out from hiding someday!

I wouldn't expect much on that account. Something like that would make a great souvenir to anyone who happened to come across it, be it coastie or islander. - not necessarily the sort of thing you'd find mentioned anywhere.
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Knife
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2011, 11:27:21 AM »

Quote
If you had a sheath knife, why would you dissassemble a pocketknife?  You'd end up with a blade without a handle, probably a good deal smaller than the sheath knife and harder to hold.

Agree.  A sheath knife could easily be attached to a pole with the handle intact if you wanted to make a spear.  IMHO it would not make much sense to beat apart the pocket knife.  Plus one question that has plaqued me with the fishing spear theory is this.  How deep is the lagoon water right off shore?  Is it shallow enough to stand in and retrieve anything speared from the bottom?  Without a barb of some sort on a spear you are going to have to spear whatever and then hold it against the bottom while you retrieve it or until it dies.  Once you stick a fish with that fishing spear if there is nothing preventing it from coming off the blade it will get off and swim away.  Speared many a sucker (name of a fish that is normally hunted in Upstate NY State by spearing when they are running in the spring in the creeks and streams) with a 3 pronged gigging spear and never killed one instantly.  Even if mortally wounded it is going to swim some distance away from the spear before giving up the ghost.

LTM,

Don

Maybe because you've broken a blade trying to open up a Clam or just from bad luck and want to get at the remaining sharpe edge?

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Ashley Such

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Re: Knife
« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2011, 02:22:06 PM »

I wouldn't expect much on that account. Something like that would make a great souvenir to anyone who happened to come across it, be it coastie or islander. - not necessarily the sort of thing you'd find mentioned anywhere.

This is true, as it would make very good usage to anybody who lived in the island after 1937.
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Knife
« Reply #11 on: February 14, 2011, 09:11:44 AM »

Quote
Maybe because you've broken a blade trying to open up a Clam or just from bad luck and want to get at the remaining sharpe edge?

Just some food for thought...

One use would be to beat it through the hinge on the backside of a clam shell.  With the folding handle that would be awkward, just the blade would be an ideal makeshift tool. 

There's also the possibility that using it in this manner, the act of beating it with the folding handle attached is what actually beat it apart or at least started the process.  The initial intent was not to beat it apart but the act of pounding on it started busting it up so at that point it either was evaluated and decided that it would be of better use sans the folding handle or was already so busted up as there was no choice.

LTM,

Don
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Roger Ward

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Re: Knife
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2011, 09:40:35 AM »

The description of the knife doesn't indicate whether the knife had a locking blade or not. I'm not even sure such things were readily available back then. Attempting to pry things with a non-locking folding blade can result in the blade folding, usually onto the fingers holding the knife, and injury. I won't say how I know this.
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Knife
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2011, 10:10:24 AM »

Quote
Attempting to pry things with a non-locking folding blade can result in the blade folding

That is exactly what I was thinking about when I stated in my previous post that pounding on the folding knife with the blade attached would be "awkward".  Have had knife's fold up myself when pounding on them. 

Is the knife they found at Niku a lockblade style?

LTM,

Don
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Knife
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2011, 09:13:33 PM »

Ric can give the definitive answer, but as far as I know the knife is pretty much a standard jackknife and does not have a locking blade.  I'm sure you can find photos of the exact Imperial knife on the TIGHAR website.
It seems that rather than breaking the knife, it was actually dis-assembled to remove the blades.  We've not found any part of the blades, broken or otherwise.

Andrew
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