ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • History & Archaeology»
  • History of the Americas

The many Knives of the Early American Frontier Part 1

Updated on May 5, 2011

The Patch Knife

What is a patch knife?

A patch knife during the 18th century carried by the long hunter, trapper, mountain man or frontiersman could be said as long as you could cut a decent patch for your long gun it was considered a patch knife. Most commonly this was a smaller to medium sized knife with no specific blade design.

Many years ago a patch knife could have been a knife with a blade size as large as 5 inches or as small as three inches the specifics of the blade length wasn't of that great importance for patch cutting as long as it cut patch. If a Frontiersman was lucky enough to have had only one knife on him worn in the sash or belt, and the blade being of nine inches in length. I am sure it would be used just the same as a "Patch knife", as well as being used for everything else that he came across on the Frontier or woodlands.

A patch knife has also been called a bag knife, as this knife sometimes was carried in a sheath that was attached to the bag strap of a possible bag or even inside the bag. Also commonly a knife such as this was carried in a sheath that would be made so the knife could be attached to the backside of a possible or shooting bag.

Another option for a patch knife in early America was the folding knife. This knife as well could be carried in a hunting pouch, pocket, or possible bag.

What is a patch? A muzzle loader (flintlock, cap lock) was loaded with blackpowder, patch and ball down the muzzle. A patch was basically a piece of cloth cut to fit behind a round ball that was oiled with various things, one being bear grease. Many today still hunt this same way that favor traditional black powder hunting and shooting. The patch also acts to hold the ball firmly in the breech as well as functions like a gasket.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • mlesniewski profile image

      mlesniewski 7 years ago from Upstate NY

      Hi Ghost..Thank you very much, appreciated..Gotta finish reading more of your short stories..Excellent work. Thanks again..

    • profile image

      Ghost32 7 years ago

      Hey, I learned something here--always a good thing! I'll definitely be checking out more of your knife related Hubs, in part because of my bone-deep awareness that a knife is THE most crucial carry item for survival in almost any situation.

      A good blade...priceless!

      Voted Up and Other Buttons.

    • mlesniewski profile image

      mlesniewski 7 years ago from Upstate NY

      Phillbert..Thank you

    • Phillbert profile image

      Phillip Drayer Duncan 7 years ago from The Ozarks

      A very cool look at history!


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)