View Full Version : Universal L.F. & C ?

03-01-2013, 07:52 PM
So I picked this thing up as a curiosity, only knowing that its old and carbon . The blade is is around 300mm, extremely thin at the tip and crazy flexible (dont know if its a good thing). The blade seems to be stamped with a metal bolster.

Google shows that the company ended up getting sold to GE in the 60's and they made pocket knives and other cutlery. I can't find any thing else on it, so any more information would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks !


03-01-2013, 08:14 PM
Nice find! The handle looks like one from a Nogent Sab-different bolster though. Very cool.

sachem allison
03-01-2013, 09:15 PM
landers frary & clark That is a great knife and will take a keen edge. The are probably pewter bolsters and ebony handles.http://www.toaster.org/landers.html you will love this knife. I have one that is 355mm and it is flexible as hell. best used as a slicer.

03-01-2013, 09:29 PM
Thanks, the bolster is something I have seen anything like it, here are some pics of the bolster. :)
As you can see its not welded to the blade.


sachem allison
03-01-2013, 09:53 PM
braised pewter, I have several it was very common from the 1830's on up to the 1920's and just about everyone made them. You very rarely saw a full integral bolster. most if not all bolsters were soldered or braised on.

03-01-2013, 10:36 PM
Can you give us some tip/choil/distal pics?

03-01-2013, 10:37 PM
That bolster is really frickin cool btw...

03-02-2013, 03:14 AM
Can you give us some tip/choil/distal pics?

Sure, please excuse my bad photography skills, the phone doesn't like indoor lighting :)

For comparison the knife on the bottom is the common victorinox 300mm chef

03-02-2013, 03:22 AM
wow nice and thin. awesome knife!

03-02-2013, 03:27 AM
Thanks for the info Sachem. So do you think the bolster as added on after the handle, say the knife was put in a mold and pewter casted over the knife? looking at where the wood joins the bolster its a bit uneven but there are zeros gaps. This knife is getting more and more interesting.

03-03-2013, 06:05 AM
LANDERS FRARY & CLARK (1865-1965), New Brittain, Connecticut.
By 1903, the company became the largest cutlery company in the world, as well as the first manufacturer of small electrical appliances.
From 1914 to 1930, produced and pocket knives.
The company made knives under a lot of brands. It is worth noted first class kitchen / butcher knives labeled «Double Shear Steel» and «Grand Prize / St.Louis 1904» «Universal»
The company was bought and destroyed in 1965 by General Electric
Excellent knife!

03-04-2013, 10:30 AM
LF Chef's
L - 440mm, Blade =310mm, height -55mm, Thinness - (4,0-1,5-0,5)mm weight 235 g

03-04-2013, 10:56 AM
Beautiful knife, how does it cut/sharpen?

03-04-2013, 01:10 PM
Sharpen - fast, cut -very good
It is LANDERS FRARY & CLARK «Universal» too. I think 1950-1960

06-09-2014, 11:37 AM
An eBay merchant has a similar knife for sale right now. I actually found this page while looking for more information about the company that made this sweet American knife.


As others have said, it is a 'nogent' style knife, where the blade has a sort-of 'tail' which is inserted into the handle. Then, a bolster is secured around the handle near the heal to keep everything in place. It is a difficult process, and requires a wider variety of skills (and therefore more craftspeople) to make these knives compared to the integrated bolster common to german knives. Nogent style knifes have the benefit of much reduced weight. These knives also typically (though not always) feature thinner, more flexible blades (again, reducing weight).

I have seen quite a few nogent-style knives, but I have never seen a bolster that looked like that. To me, it looks more modern than the more typical 'band' style bolster.

06-09-2014, 11:58 AM
That's a pretty common style bolster for a Sab. If you look closer at the pics it is the separate band style, not fully integrated. I will smack the person upside their head that pays that much for that knife! It's ODC, but in bad condition and TINY!

06-10-2014, 12:32 PM
As far as I know, Nogent-style has pretty much disappeared, but that is because it requires an expensive production process, not because it results in an inferior product compared to a single piece of metal with two scales attached (integrated-style).

The knife listed on eBay is definitely small, but it looks like the handle is angled slightly away from the cutting edge to allow for slightly greater knuckle clearance. Again, I think the main appeal of this type of knife is the low weight. The blade appears to be in good shape, but (according to the seller) the band wrapped around the handle as a bolster is iron (others have stated that pewter is more common) and it looks like it has acquired some rust. I think this knife would look at least 25% better with an ebony handle; the light-colored handle makes it look cheap. It is likely a fine knife, probably priced more for collectors looking for an old, American made but classic-French style knife than for an everyday user. (Note: I'm not sure what the above poster meant by 'ODC.' Google told me that stands for Oil Drilling Corporation lol).

Sab makes (or at least made) integrated and nogent style knives, as you can see here:

Nowadays, it is typically better to go with a knife that is made from a single piece of steel that divides the handle in half (full tang), as pretty much anything else tends to be inferior (e.g. partial tang). But that definitely doesn't mean that only one-piece fully-integrated bolster knives are high quality.

06-10-2014, 12:44 PM
ODC = Old Dirty Carbon

The tang, whether it be full, partial, with or without bolster has NOTHING to do with superiority. It's all about personal preference.
I've refurbished and rehandled all makes and model of Sabs from 1 to 100+years old, so I'm just a little bit familiar with them.
There's no way this knife is worth the money, collectible or not.

06-11-2014, 07:04 PM
I've checked out a bunch of his(Ralph1396) auctions over the years, and they're always on the steep side IMO.

06-12-2014, 06:18 AM
That's the same type of cast bolster that came off of the knife that Dave resurrected for me here
It was cast in place with the metal running through a hole in the tang to secure it. No solder, braze or pin in this instance.