Landers, Frary & Clark
New Britain, CT
The United States entered into the First Word War just as trenches erupted throughout the European battlefront. With no other tactic available than charging enemy lines on foot, US doughboys were now more than ever reliant on close-quarter, hand-to-hand weaponry. Taking advice from battle-weary French troops, American armorers put forth the US M1917 trench knife nicknamed the “knuckle duster.” A scary implement indeed, pyramidal teeth protrude from the knuckle bow and the blade is actually a triangular spike purposely designed to puncture the thick overcoats often worn by the enemy inside their own trenches.
Landers, Frary & Clark, whose mark (“L.F.&C.”) is stamped at the hilt, opened just after the Civil War as a housewares company producing myriad kitchen appliances and utensils. In the spring of 1917, the company went to work making edged weapons for the US army.
Weaponry Wednesday: Each Wednesday we post an object (or group of objects) from the Charleston Museum’s diverse weapons collection. Many Weaponry Wednesday items may be on permanent exhibit in our armory or elsewhere in the museum, but some pieces rarely see exhibition, temporary or permanent, but are well worth sharing. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on WEAPONRY WEDNESDAY! Also, we always want to learn more about our collection - if you have some insights on a piece, please feel free to share! #WeaponryWednes