U of S | Mailing List Archive | alt-photo-process-l | Re: pen knife

Re: pen knife

Interesting OT thread - finally, a subject I know!
I suppose I qualify as Methuselah - I've carried a pocket knife 
daily since fourth grade (~1953). I settled on one with one blade, 
and a bone handle.
I believe the pen knife was(is) used for pen nibs - or 
clarinet/oboe reeds.
   - John F. Edwards, Vancouver, WA

On Tue Jan 08 00:26:50 CST 2008, Katharine Thayer 
<kthayer@pacifier.com> wrote:

> I've always thought of a pen knife as smaller than a man's pocket 
>  knife, more the size of a lady's or child's pocket knife, meant 
> for  small cutting jobs like sharpening pencils (or pen nibs, 
> hence the  name) or whittling a whistle from a willow branch.    
> When I was a  kid, I had one with a  mother-of-pearl handle that 
> I thought was  pretty neat.
> kt
> On Jan 7, 2008, at 7:56 PM, Richard Knoppow wrote:
>> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Judy Seigel" 
>> <jseigel@panix.com>
>> To: <alt-photo-process-l@usask.ca>
>> Sent: Monday, January 07, 2008 7:41 PM
>> Subject: pen knife
>>> Contrary to the actual words, a pen knife is like a Swiss Army  
>>> Knife but with only 2 blades -- a big one at one end and a 
>>> little  one at the other end, that fold into the handle. 
>>> ...Boys & men  would carry them in their pockets in case they 
>>> had to sharpen a  pencil or play a quick game of mumblety peg, 
>>> scrape some chalk off  a pastel stick, or other chore around 
>>> the house.  In other words,  a "pocket knife"  (Is that term 
>>> still in use? I feel like  Methuselah !)
>>> J.
>>> On Mon, 7 Jan 2008, Dave S wrote:
>>>> It is sort of fun to read old articles. For example, to make 
>>>> the  powder for
>>>> the process, the articles say you can scrap pastel with "pen 
>>>> kr  ife." I
>>>> checked the article. It looks like it does say that, but I 
>>>> think  it probably
>>>> means "pen knife." The author probably wrote the article by 
>>>> hand,  and
>>>> perhaps the typsettor didn't understand the writing. But what 
>>>> is  a "pen
>>>> knife?" I am guessing it must be something like what we call 
>>>> X- Acto knife
>>>> today if it is used for scrapping pastel to make powder. But 
>>>> that  is just my
>>>> interpretation. Reading old articles (or any article) always  
>>>> involves some
>>>> interpretation.
>>    I rather think the origin of the term comes from a small 
>> knife  used for sharpening pen nibs rather than to any 
>> resemblance to a  pen. I always associated the term with the 
>> sort of knife Judy  describes, i.e., a small folding knife.
>> ---
>> Richard Knoppow
>> Los Angeles, CA, USA
>> dickburk@ix.netcom.com