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Thread: JAWS Movie Prop Diving Knife? Vintage 'Aqua Lung' divers knife!

 


  1. #1
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    JAWS Movie Prop Diving Knife? Vintage 'Aqua Lung' divers knife!

    Hello All,

    I am new to this site which was recommended to me by a friend who also likes to free dive. I do hope the rest of this post does not irritate the board members but if anyone is going to know the answer...it's you guys & girls. Now let’s move onto my other hobby which requires help from board members!

    I am a massive fan of the movie cult classic 'JAWS'. Strangely enough this is the film that spawned both my interest in diving and films!

    Almost five years ago I bought my first film prop believed to be from" JAWS & THE DEEP" It was described as one of only two divers knives used in the production of this film.

    I have tried to post a photo of the diving KNIFE but had no joy. I will send it via email to anyone interested. My email address is: Neil_PARSONS@sky.com

    The KNIFE has the following markings:
    On handle - 'AQUA LUNG' us divers co
    On blade - 'stainless steel' JAPAN pat 214031 (This No. relates to the ‘stainless steel’ used in the blade)
    Knife is 12 1/2" long.

    On to the problem...the seller stated this item was bought when 'ELLIS Studio Props' of Hollywood sold off all the warehouse stock in June 2000. He went on to state that this was sold without documentation but was listed in the auction as being from the ROBERT SHAW COLLECTION and it's link to both films.

    I have spent many hours trying to authenticate the knife but the original auction list outlining the knife is no longer available. This was the original site link for the list/catalogue: Tranzon Real Estate Auctions - Real Estate Auction Marketing Specialists

    Please can anyone help me date the knife as hopefully the blades ‘Patent’ number will give an approximate age. I need to find out what year this knife was first sold.
    I have contacted the makers 'Aqua Lung' and have been informed that the knife was first sold in 1962 and it is still sold now. Now I know what you’re thinking? Why ask us to date the knife if you have already been told!

    From looking into this knife which is known as a 'Sea Master Knife’ and others like it for sale, I have discovered that the patent numbers are different with slight design modification to the blade over the years. With the sites help I can hopefully narrow down the knife to a decade as the maker seems uninterested with my requests for help.

    I have no receipt or documentation but clearly the patent number on the blade must represent a year of release.

    Thanks in advance and I hope this post has been of some interest to the board members.

    Kind Regards, Neil (UK)

  2. #2
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    Neil,

    Your question is a valid one, but certainly misdirected to this board.

    May I suggest that you join and post your question on Vintage Double Hose.

    I am very familiar with the knife and the movie. Your scenario about it being the property of Robert Shaw who passed in London after the completion of the movie brings validity to its origin and its inclusion in an auction.

    It is appropriate to always maintain present time consciencness of the era when attempting historical research. Therefore a few thoughts and possible avenues of research.

    1) Joe Lamonica of JBL spear gun fame, had a division of his company called Newport divers in Orange California. This division was producing knives for most of the American market. The tough Swimaster patterned after the M-1 American bayonet, the Sportsways along the line of a conventional knife, and the huge never equaled Voit knife, which has the same general blade configuration as the US Divers knife in question, but the US Divers knife had a cheaper molded handle.
    Therefore, the US Divers knife may have had its origin via Joe Lamonica and Newport divers which were less that ten miles away.

    2) US Divers general manager at that time in the early 1960s was Harry Rice, a gentleman of the first degree. the Sales manager was John Culley and the PR was Bill Barada. Harry wanted to maintain US divers number one position in the market place, Culley wanted products to sell at a very competitive price and Barada wanted some thing to write about. Rather than using the higher quality US made products the company turned to the Asian market, therefore the knife and many other products of that era have the "Made in Japan" logo.

    3) Sadly Joe Lamonica passed away two years ago and his company, "JBL" has been sold. Harry Rice has been gone for a number of years, Bill Barada for about ten years. John Culley did all the damage one man could possibly do in a the time he was employed at US Divers and was dismissed never to be seen again in the diving world.

    4) Swimaster, Sportsways and Voit have been gone for at least a generation are remembered by only a few

    I applaud you and your efforts in verifying and recording the history of this knife ,

    Good Luck!

    sdm

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