Some of my favorite resources for getting started in exploring the rich history of traditional pocket knives

Getting Started:

Levine's Guide to Knives & their Values by Bernard Levine and Bud Lang

If you want a grounded understanding in knife patterns, history, etc, then start here!

The Standard Knife Collector's Guide by Roy Ritchie and Ron Stewart

American Pocket Knives A History of Schatt & Morgan and Queen Cutlery By David A. Krauss

David is a really nice guy and his book is an excellent read on one of my favorite old companies. Also, David's intro on knife history is a must read.

Fascinating Reads:

The below are all in the public domain

A Man of Samples - Something about the Men He Met "on the Road." by William H. Maher  · 1886

The Cutlery Trades An Historical Essay in the Economics of Small-scale Production by Godfrey Isaac Howard Lloyd · 1913

 

The Manufacture of Steel Containing the Practice and Principles of Working and Making Steel by Frederick OvermanA. A. Fesquet · 1873

Archaeology dig of the New York Knife Company by the University of the State of New York.  · 1999

This is a fascinating look at the survey and excavation of the grounds of this former powerhouse of a knife company. What was left behind will shock and astonish readers!

The American Cutler - Official Organ of the Cutlery Industry

US Trade mag from the early 1900s targeted to manufacturers, job shops, and retailers. Multiple bound years available

Catalogs:

One of the best ways to piece together knife history - and maybe even test urban legends.

Hibbard, Spencer, Bartlett and Co - One of the best hardware stores of our great-great grandfather's time! Famed hardware store based in Chicago and originator of the True Value brand. The below catalog PDF links are large downloads.

1891 Catalog

1909 Catalog

Web Resources:

Queen Cutlery History

Self-descriptive! This site has many good reads on both Queen and Schatt & Morgan with new content added frequently

Knife Magazine

Support a great magazine and writers. A digital subscription also gets you access to their lengthy magazine and book archive.

Great Eastern Cutlery

The World's best manufacturer of production pocket knives. You can get them from Austin!