The name marked on the knife will give you the first visual clue to its age.Schrade knives dating from 1904 to the World War I period are marked “Schrade Cut Co.” and “Walden, N. Knives marked “Schrade Cut Co.” in a straight line were made between World War I and 1947.
Check the four-digit serial number on the knife blade for more information.
The first digit indicates the number of blades on the knife; the second and third refer to the handle pattern; and the fourth refers to the handle material.
Letters that follow the serial number refer to the handle material color or type.
The Schrade Cutlery Company of Walden, New York, produced pocketknives from 1904 until the factory closed in 2004.
In 1947, Schrade was bought by the Ulster Knife Company of Ellenville, New York, and the factory, known as Schrade-Walden, moved to Ellenville.
In 1984, it merged with the Imperial Knife Company and was known as Imperial Schrade.
Knowing the dates of these name changes will help you begin to date your vintage Schrade pocketknife.
You will be able to date a Schrade knife even more accurately by examining and understanding its markings and characteristics.
Check online forums and websites about vintage knives in general and Schrade history in particular to get an idea about the vintage of your knife.
Locate books and, if possible, old Schrade catalogs to further enable you to pinpoint the knife within a certain time period.
Examine your Schrade knife under a good strong light, using a magnifying glass to note all markings and design details.