Old Hardinge marked rigging knife
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  1. #1
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    Default Old Hardinge marked rigging knife

    I've had this for quite a while, has anyone seen one of these before?
    Appears to be a rigging knife, maybe a Hardinge issued employee tool or a give away by the company. Or is it from a completely different "Hardinge" than I'm familiar with?
    Thanks in advance for any info.
    CWC(4)

    img_7556.jpgimg_7557.jpgimg_7559.jpgimg_7560.jpg

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    There was one Hardinge who was something of an inventor, and his inventions went beyond machine tools. Notably, he invented an oil burner "gun" for converting home heating boiler to burn fuel oil w, and a few other things unrelated to machine tools. It would not surprise me that the knife shown in this thread was one of Mr. Hardinge's inventions.

    It goes a bit beyond a normal "rigging knife", in that is has items found on jack-knives (or the "Swiss Army Knife"), including a cork-screw, gimlet (for making holes in leather or soft wood), gut hook (for fishermen and small game hunters), and the combination screwdriver/bottle or can opener blades.

    I forget the story, but the Hardinge who was the inventor was quite a character, and some of his antics caused some raised eyebrows. Hardinge lived in the Chicago region at the time he invented the oil burner, and was sort of peripherally involved with the Cataract lathes.

    I am reminded of another similar story. Years ago, we were having a large thrust bearing from one of our hydroelectric units rebabbitted by Kingsbury. Kingsbury was the inventor, at least in the USA, of the tilting pad thrust bearing. On a wall in the lobby of Kingsbury Bearing's repair facility was a copy of some of the patents issued to Mr. Kingsbury. Surprisingly, one was for a kind of multi-purpose kitchen or camping gadget, a combination can opener and a few other handy things. The knife in this thread may well be the product of an active mind not limited to inventing machine tools.

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    If the name is hand engraved, it would indicate an owner rather than a maker or an advertising item.

    The Hardinge brothers (Franklin and Henry H.) were Canadian and moved to Chicago in 1890. They started with watch repair and optical devices and then bought the Cataract line of lathes from the originator in Buffalo, NY in 1903. They improved and made the Cataract machines in Chicago until about 1930-1, when the machine tool business was sold and moved to Elmira, NY. Franklin Hardinge then concentrated on oil burners in the Chicago plant, renamed Hardinge Mfg. Co. At some point in the 1930's, Franklin bought the name Elgin Tool Works from a defunct lathe company in Elgin, IL and made it a division of Hardinge Mfg. Co. They then designed a new line of Elgin lathes and mills that are kind of similar to the Hardinge Brothers products, but different.

    I have made an effort to find all of the Hardinge patents and the list has 53 for Franklin and one for Henry. There is no knife patent.

    Then there is a third Hardinge, Harlowe (Harry) W. Hardinge, who invented a conical ball mill circa 1918 for processing ore and founded Hardinge Co. Inc. in York, PA.
    Hardinge Conical Ball Mill

    There is a Hardinge family in England who had a number of military and government positions over many years, titles like Sir, Viscount and Lord. Possibly our Hardinge Brothers descended from a younger son who moved to Canada. Not a common name, but there are a few people about named Hardinge.

    Larry

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    Thanks Joe & Larry, I appreciate the responses.
    I forgot to mention that the maker of the knife is W. Morton & Sons , Sheffield
    and yes it is jeweler quality hand engraved. Knife is on the large side, 5" long closed and quite heavy, as you can imagine.
    Thanks,
    CWC(4)

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    The pattern is called a horseman's knife. The two screw heads are the heads of two-part bolts like Chicago screws, for replacing the rivets in the horse's harness. The knife also has a hoof pick.
    This would have been a premium and expensive knife when new.It's hard for me to see it being used as an advertising give-away, especially since it is an English knife and Hardinge is an American company.
    Rick W
    Last edited by Rickw55; 11-11-2019 at 12:20 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CWC(4) View Post
    I've had this for quite a while, has anyone seen one of these before?
    Appears to be a rigging knife, maybe a Hardinge issued employee tool or a give away by the company. Or is it from a completely different "Hardinge" than I'm familiar with?
    Thanks in advance for any info.
    CWC(4)

    img_7556.jpgimg_7557.jpgimg_7559.jpgimg_7560.jpg
    "Multi-tool", not Rigger's knife. Those are simpler. Have to be. Blade alone, or blade and Marlinspike, usually. No time for confusion. Under sail at sea it's literally life and/or hull at risk.

    See also Spyderco's "Harpy" for rapidly cutting cordage only, not splicing.

    I'd call this one a sales promotion hand-out or commemorative just as likely.

    For a time.. I gave away a decent "Leatherman" tool to half the International Gateway Switch local head guys in Asia. Jabatan Telecom, Brunei, it was a pair of HP-200-LX. Best interest of my client his switch could be looked-at locally via a serial terminal, hung circuits manually cleared-down until we moved them off an intentionally mis-configured Seimens POS (that's a redundancy, actually - you'd have to know alleged German superiority.) onto an ATT 5ESS.

    The HP could be that bit of test gear. Second one was for his chair-warmer Feudal Boss, equivalent of a "Duke". Protocal thing, lest the technical guy not be allowed to keep what he had an actual NEED of!

    See also Leatherman, Gerber, SOG. The Gerbers and SOG's I kept for my OWN use!

    https://www.amazon.com/Gerber-Diesel.../dp/B000EDVU2K

    SOG Multi-Tool

    SOG Company History

    Victor "Inox" Swiss Army knives are better left to Girl Scouts. Pre-pubescent ones.

    No need, later-on. Any tool a boy has is hers for the asking, willing operator included, if not also batteries.... roses... chocolates.. fine apparel... diamonds... motorcars ...houses...

    Last edited by thermite; 11-11-2019 at 10:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rickw55 View Post
    The pattern is called a horseman's knife. The two screw heads are the heads of two-part bolts like Chicago screws, for replacing the rivets in the horse's harness. The knife also has a hoof pick.
    This would have a premium and expensive knife when new.It's hard for me to see it being used as an advertising give-away, especially since it is an English knife and Hardinge is an American company.
    Rick W
    It would be easy to see Lord Hardinge keeping the knife in his (fox) hunting kit in 1926. Or, it would be the thing to carry for a mounted military officer. The Brits here might know better, but I seem to recall that it would be unseemly to engrave the Lord or whatever title he had on his personal property. And a lord would not use his first name outside his immediate family. Probably the sons would have added their first name or initials if they had one like daddy's.

    By the way, Hardinge Co. of York, PA gave away paperweight dial thermometers.

    desk-thermometer.jpg

    And Hardinge Brothers in the 1920's gave away key fobs that are meant to allow returning lost keys without naming the address of the door which the key fits. Perhaps they were given to customers who bought an oil conversion unit. In 1949, I lived in a 1920's house that had a coal bunker in the basement. In the bunker was a big oil tank. I was too young to notice the brand name of the oil conversion unit on the furnace, but it could have been a Hardinge.

    As an illustration of the continuing usefulness of these "If found, mail to" key tags, I added pictures of a very similar tag I was given in 1964. Many of you probably remember when hotels used metal keys with a room number on a tag that also said, "If found, drop in any mailbox" with the hotel name and city.

    dsc02120.jpg dsc02121.jpg dsc02122.jpg dsc02123.jpg

    Larry

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    I was digging around an old theater yesterday, was quite surprised when I opened the circuit box and found the name Starrett. Really cool old box, full of copper and bakelite knife switches. Found another box with name Benjamin Starrett, Chicago Ill, doubt it is any relation to the Starrett we know.

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    I think the key fobs were from the night watchman's keys.
    Hardinge also made night watchman's clocks.

    -Doozer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doozer View Post
    I think the key fobs were from the night watchman's keys.
    Hardinge also made night watchman's clocks.

    -Doozer
    Yes, I have one in my collection. Each clock uses one key to open it to change out the paper record of the watchman's rounds. That key was secured in the boss' office and never given to the watchman. The other keys are made to print a station number on the paper record. Each key was kept in a metal box bolted to the wall and fastened to the box with a chain to keep it at the station. The man would walk from station to station and apply the key at each station. The paper would have the numbers printed on a time scale so the boss could confirm that each station was visited at the expected time. So the "if found" tag would not be on a watchman's key. Remember, the tag advertises oil burners, not clocks. When I started in 1963, the place I worked had watchmen and those key stations in various places around the building. By the time I retired, everyone carried plastic cards that opened locked doors and/or made a record in a computer somewhere when swiped past a reader.

    Larry

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    Thank you all for your replies and insight.
    Larry, I think I still have one of the station keys (somewhere) with chain still attached, that I saved when we dismantled a building in the early '70's.
    CWC(4)


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