> Living History Knives - Browning Article

Home | Articles | Living History Knives

Living History Knives

Release Date: 3/1/2004

These knives celebrate a few of our countrymen. Whether tragically or triumphantly, they made unique contributions to the tapestry of American history.

Incorporated into the design of each handle is a rare and historic wood from a tree that stood witness to deeds of valor—lives well and worthily lived. That wood has been lovingly preserved to help remind each of us of their place in history.

The design of each knife has been researched to embody important elements indicative of the lifestyles and beliefs of the people that lived in the times they represent.

Liberty Tree Knife
In the troubled years of the American Revolution, men wanted by the Crown of Great Britain for treason were forced to gather out-of-doors to avoid detection–and execution. They often designated trees as the location of their meetings. These became known as “Liberty Trees. If the red coats found the tree, but no colonial “traitors,” they often vented their wrath by felling the tree in hopes that they could dampen the spirit of freedom by toppling the magnificent witnesses to so many patriotic plans.

A few of the Liberty Trees survived the axe and the slow passage of years. The wood in the handle of this knife is from a tree that survived all but a hurricane's fury in Annapolis, Maryland.

The blade is reminiscent of designs commonly found in the hands of our colonial forefathers. The handle is embellished with two gold stars in memory of patriotic ideals that live today in those who love this land. The bolsters are lustrous brass.

This first prototype was made by Larry Harley. The edition will be limited to 1,776 individually numbered pieces.

Robert E. Lee Knife
Robert E. Lee—the very name invokes respect for a man of principle and genius. He led men in battle after battle, often out-numbered and out-gunned, he emerged victorious. His eventual surrender at Appomattox came more as a result of the attrition of an army that was defeated in a war of resources—the superior show of skill and determination was with the vanquished South.

The D-guard knife is a design highly prized by the soldiers in grey. Frequently, they were fashioned from the remains of broken swords salvaged from the ruins of battle.

The wood of the handle is from black oaks that grew on the grounds of Lee's former estate at Arlington, Virginia. Recently, it fell to a hurricane. It is decorated with 13 gold stars forming the pattern of the Confederate Flag. The D-guard is shaped of solid brass.

This first prototype was made by Jerry Fisk. The edition will be limited to 1,863 individually numbered pieces.

Alamo Knife
Show me someone in America that hasn't heard of the famous Bowie knife, and I'll show you someone that is dead to the world of knives.

Jim Bowie was a Louisiana man that once found himself in a gunfight armed only with a knife. Fortunately, the other guy missed, and Bowie lived to play his part in a gallant, but ultimately hopeless defense of the Alamo in 1836. This knife is a replica of the design that was made famous during that period in our history.

The wood in the handle comes from a live oak that grew on the grounds of the Alamo itself. For more than a century, it shaded visitors to that hallowed place, eventually dying of age. It is graced by a single gold star on each side that represents the fame of the state of Texas. The bolster is made of polished brass.

This first prototype was made by Jerry Fisk. The edition will be limited to 1,836 individually numbered pieces.

Ike Knife
Dwight David Eisenhower was a man of humble beginnings in Dennison, Texas. Perhaps it was his common touch that made him beloved and respected by everyone from the highest to the lowest in rank. His men loved him. Somehow, they knew that Ike wouldn't order them to do something that came from his ego alone. If Ike needed it done, it needed doing. They did it.

This knife is patterned after the famous M3 that was issued to the majority of G.I.'s in the field for Normandy’s D-Day in 1944. The profile of the blade and handle have become instantly recognizable to millions of soldiers the world around.

The wood is Ash from trees grown at the general's boyhood home in Texas, and carries five gold stars on each side representing his rank. The bolster and pommel are made of finely finished brass.

This first prototype was made by Jim Crowell. The edition will be limited to 1,944 individually numbered pieces to commemorate the year of D-Day in Normandy.

Crazy Horse Knife
Tashunka Witco means, “his horse is crazy.” It is a name that came to represent a man of unusual talents both on an off of the battlefield. Crazy Horse was a visionary that believed in the worth of his land, his way of life and his people.

In a way, it's fitting that he has been chosen in this edition to represent the victims of two terrible massacres. The names “Wounded Knee” and “Wachita River” conjure images we would like to forget, but painfully show that we must recognize and honor the humanity in all peoples regardless of our differences. When asked to define the extent of his lands, Crazy Horse replied, “My lands are where my people lie buried.”

The handle is made of wood from the Black Hills of South Dakota, where there is a grove of Aspen trees revered by the Sioux Nation as the “Tree of Life.” The four brass tacks represent the suns of the seasons. The blade is made of hand-knapped obsidian. The sheath is made of brain-tanned buckskin and is richly beaded in a Sioux pattern.

This first prototype was made by Brent Evans. The edition will be limited to 1,835 individually numbered pieces in memory of the Native American men, women and children killed in the two massacres.

Liberty Forests
American Forests and the VFW, along with the corporate sponsorship of Browning, have united to plant one tree for each and every member of our U.S. Armed Forces, a total of 1.4 million trees. These will be planted in selected ecosystem restoration projects designated as Liberty Forests. Liberty Forests will provide a substantial and measurable environmental impact, cleaning the air, conserving soil, and improving wildlife habitat. You can also plant trees online at www.libertyforests.org to support America’s armed forces.

See updates, availability, accessories and purchasing information at www.historictrees.org

American Forest
8701 Old Kings Road, Jacksonville, FL 32219 • 904-765-0727 www.americanforests.org

Images, photographs, etc. shown do not necessarily represent the product in its entirety. They are shown for examples only.

PREVIOUS Article | NEXT Article

Follow Browning:

Browning Facebook PageBrowning YouTube ChannelBrowning TwitterBrowning RSS FeedBrowning Email Newsletter Browning Pinterest Browning Instagram Browning Google Plus

Catalog Request

Click here to request a free copy. It is packed with photos and specifications for our full line of firearms, accessories, cases, knives, lights, gun safes and technical clothing.
Request | Download Catalogs

Image 1 Image 2 Image 3 Image 4 Image 5 Image 6 Image 7 Image 8 Image 9 Image 10