Part Two: Kid's Stuff!

Fingernail Files and Combs

Remember something called a "pocket comb?" Sometimes purchased alone, sometimes in an El Cheapo vinyl case…sometimes a nice leather case - Oooh - ahh… ALWAYS a display in the barber shop with them on it.

Sometimes with another pocket on the outside for a straight fingernail file…

That company I mentioned earlier named "Trim," I don't know if they still exist, but they used to make fingernail and toenail clippers and let's not forget tweezers…

They were also the largest manufacturer, as far as I can tell, of the classic "giveaway" knife that they referred to as the "Trim Trio." This pattern of pocketknife is the classic keychain knife of its day. I referred to them earlier in this article and there was a picture of a group of them.

They also had neat fingernail files that folded!

Oh, happy day! A folding fingernail file! "Hey, let's sharpen these things."

Look at the date on the display…

There were other companies that made folding fingernail files and they were like advertisement knives. They had their business name and phone number stamped or printed on the side of the body.

Kids used to carve things and file on things, grind things down… Now they kill things that don't exist in a world that doesn't exist on a pocket-sized computer that has more computing power than what NSA or NASA possessed in 1965. That is, if you can pry their ass away from the computer box in front of the TV…

You know the little computer boxes I'm talking about? The ones that people actually get into fistfights over at Wal-Mart near Christmas time when the manufacturers release the newest "computer boxes."

Funny, isn't it? People that promote some of the most violent games insist the games don't cause violence yet violence erupts during these sale events.

Didn't have that problem with knives, did we? Yet knives are seen as violent and something to be eradicated from polite society.

I don't think videogames should be controlled or banned, but I think people are crazy when they get into fights over the latest videogame and then proclaim that whole scene is perfectly normal but pocketknives are "dangerous."

Whittling on a stick is seen as something meaningless and even dangerous now. No, go program yourself with "Grand Theft Auto." Confuse yourself with violence and sexuality until you get The Ted Bundy Award at some "Death Class."

For some reason, little kids like things that fold. We even had folding combs; some of them had what some knife fans will recognize as a "flipper" on them. Then, of course, the nefarious Switchblade Comb was around.

We used to take junk knife blades from "Flip-It" pocketknives and rip the comb out of the Switchblade combs and replace it with the blade from the Flip-It and then crimp the thing back together. A total and complete flop for an experiment, I assure you.

Later, we found people that sold real-deal Mexican and Italian Switchblades…

German Hubertus…beautiful knives.

French Switchers are cool as well, Barge, if I remember correctly.

The picture below has two "Flip-Its" in it. And man can they take an edge!

More Advertisement Knives & Oddities

A Tri-Fold Pocketknife

This little bugger is a very neat knife. It's an interesting design and it's just cool. I don't know the history of them but it is very well made. It's nothing like the triple action or other tri-fold pocketknives I have had.

The Christy Knife

An interesting design and they're still in business after all of these years. I think a Christy Knife will run you about $30.00 now and I don't think that's such a bargain today. But back in the days when dinosaurs walked the earth, a Christy Knife was a good thing to have in the glove compartment or on your keychain. They were cheap and they were good.

With the Christy, you just push on the button and slide the blade out.

An Oddball Christy-like Pocket Razor

This little knife I purchased at an old knife store along with the Tri-Fold knife. It's similar to a Christy just in operation. The blade is much shorter. I was quite surprised when I sharpened it up with a Spyderco Diamond "Speed Sleeve."

It is incredibly sharp! Great steel, the only marking on it is "Crescent USA." Perhaps the people that made the "Original Crescent" adjustable wrench made these, I don't know.

Like the Christy, it's a push button and slide type of knife.

Odd Folding Razors

Folding razors have been around for along time as well. They won't stand up to a lot of abuse but that's not because they're junk, it's because a razor blade won't stand up to a lot of abuse no matter how well it's made.

Folding razors have been around as "giveaway" advertisement knives and they have also been used for at least forty years in US Military Survival Kits.

The folding razor at the top right is the oddball in the group and that one is from US Military Survival Kits. The others are various advertising razors marked, "GITS RAZOR-NIFE." Spelled just like that.

Fishing & Scaling Knives

In the top of my Dad's Plano tacklebox, there was always a pair of needle-nosed pliers and an old Imperial Fisherman's pocketknife.

You want to talk about something that will cut like a straight razor? Oh my, these things sharpen up well and the blade is very thin. The scaler had a bottle opener (fish scale flavored Yoo-Hoo anyone?), a ruler and a hook disgorger.

We cleaned hundreds of fish with that thing.

I Spy

I spy, with my little eye, my Dad's binoculars!

Binoculars. Uh, you might get away with the Case Pocketknife, but if you snatched Dad's Bushnell binoculars… Real binoculars before they were cheapened through extreme mass production…you might get in a little bit of hot water… He had a pair of 7 X something or other and they were excellent, they were so clear.

So, I'm a little kid and I'm at the Laundromat and I walk over to the Five & Dime, back then…there was a lot of stuff you could buy in there for…well, nickels and dimes! Now we have "Dollar Stores" and "Dollar General" loaded up with stuff that doesn't cost a dollar, it's like ten times that for most stuff and the stuff that is a dollar falls apart the first time you use it because it's made in China.

Perhaps they should consider renaming them to "Tens of Dollars Store" or "Chinese Dollar."

You uh get what you pay for, Joe.

Anyway, I'm in the five & dime and I see this black and chrome "box" with a thumbwheel mounted topside on the thing. Say! Could that be a pair of cheap binoculars?

Oh yes they were! Some people will know them as "opera glasses" although they are not the effeminate granny glasses on a stick, no; these things collapsed into a compact little box!

A couple of bucks, ka-ching-ka-ching, out the door I went to spy on everyone around the Laundromat.

They're great! They're usually only 2.5X magnification, but they're so handy for a quick peek. For a kid? Priceless.

These are a set of "Opera Glasses" made by Tasco. Bushnell made them as well. Another brand name was "Focal."


I tried to obtain a periscope for the article but never found one in good condition.

They were always great! Great for general neighborhood snooping, snowball fights, dirtbomb battles and other necessary childhood activities.

I remember I had a few science books with various experiments in them and one of the experiments was constructing a periscope using a quart milk carton and two mirrors. Ah-ha, genius!

Peanut butter companies, "Choosey mothers choose Jiff," as well as Ralston of Ralston-Purina fame actually manufactured kid's periscopes as…drumroll…advertising gimmicks!

Dick Tracy, Tom Mix, Batman, all sorts of characters…Hollywood and various corporations had periscopes and other things marketed to kids. Kids who would then eagerly wolf down box after box of Pop-tarts, Ovaltine, Tang or cereal to mail in the proofs of purchase and a small shipping and handling fee to obtain the wonders of marketing!

And who could possibly forget the dog chow commercial with the dog sliding around on the polished kitchen floor chasing after the little chuck wagon?

Magnifying Glasses

My Dad had a beaut! Real stainless steel, again, no Chinese garbage metal. Stainless steel handle, stainless steel band around real glass, not plastic. Imagine that.

This became an intrinsic part of my Japanese Beetle Eradication Program on my mother's immense rose bush in the yard.

If you see this as a sign of mental illness…or cruelty, well, physician, heal thyself. Go see a grief counselor or something.

I studied insects when I was a kid, I captured Praying Mantises and placed them in a terrarium and captured grasshoppers and crickets for them and fed them.

I also studied rocks and various minerals in store-bought rock collections from such lofty places as The Smithsonian. I fancied myself as quite the Mad Scientist as a child.

My Dad loved coins and stamps, we would sit and examine coins, stamps, rocks and minerals and the occasional bug under the magnifying glass he had, it was occasionally borrowed…much to his displeasure.

Are you beginning to see a pattern here?

You know, if you have a kid, while they're still in diapers, you should really start to assemble a few things for them at that time to give them later on.

Magnifying glasses and Jeweler's Loupes. Binoculars. Telescope. Microscope and slides. Rock and Mineral Collection.

Whatever you do, show them that there is a world "out there" that they need a telescope to examine and that there is a world "down there" in the backyard that they need a magnifying glass and a microscope to see. Get prepared slides for the microscope. Get clean slides and a sewing needle and let them see your blood under the slide while it's still fresh. Sound "psycho?" Do you think Diabetics are "psycho" for having to lance their finger(s) a couple/few times a day? It's just science, that's all.

Do anything you can to remove them from the electronic death culture.

The first thing they should be taught is how to think, how to reason. A lot of what is passing for "logic" today is total B.S.

Buy them books; feed their sponge-like hunger. Make sure they can read and comprehend what they read.

Back when I was a kid, we had "Schoolhouse Rock" segments in between Wile E. Coyote attempting to drop large anvils on the Roadrunner and we had commercials from "RIF," which stands for:

"Reading Is Fundamental."

And it is.

There are no politics involved with dropping anvils on the speedy denizens of the desert. Now we get "Captain Planet" and all sorts of liberal nonsense.

Don't even get me started on Yu-gi-oh or however the hell you spell it.

Oh, and "Pokemon," sounds like bad Jamaican porno to me.

ALL Warner Brothers Bugs Bunny - Roadrunner Show! Hanna-Barbera - Flintstones, Johnny Quest…The Jetsons.

"Space Poker! Space Poker!"

Uni-Blab and The Food-a-rack-a-cycle.

To this day when I hear someone going on and on and they're making absolutely no sense, I think of the Uni-Blab.



Copyright 2006 Don Rearic

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