A.G. Russell recently passed away.
If that name doesn’t mean something to you, you’ve led an impoverished life. It may not have been financially poor, but your soul hasn’t been nourished enough.
Russell started making knives when he was nine. In 1968 he started selling after-market knives but continued to have his designs made. His wife, Goldie, helped publish a slick glossy catalog containing photos of knives of amazing beauty. Knife fanciers refer to it as “knife porn” as we anxiously await the current issues which would be studied, pawed over and each knife’s detailed description memorized.
The catalog is still in production and I still look forward to seeing it.
I met A.G. years ago at one of the S.H.O.T Shows, along with 100 thousand other people. But a recent article of mine in Knife Magazine on his Gent Folder II brought us back into contact. We talked and he showed me how he could flick open virtually any knife. He said he enjoyed my article.
|One of A.G. Gent Knives
He joins a select group of knife giants. Some of the names should mean something to you.
James Parker Sr. who once owned Case Knife and founder the National Knife Collectors Association (NKCA)
Bell Scagel who inspired so many other designers and makers like Bo Randall, the founder of Randall Knife.
Bo influenced Bob Loveless who invented the term Tactical Knife as well as inspired countless other makers.
The environment they created let people like Blackie Collins flourish with his innovative designs. Blackie was also a founding member of the Knife Makers Guild as well as the originator of Blade magazine.
Bill Moran, the rediscoverer of pattern welded steel and founder of the American Bladesmith Society isn’t excluded from this group by any means.
And of course, A.G. Russell, who opened the world of art/collector and working knives to everyone. Let me remind you he produced the first production knife with a thumb stud. His Sting boot knife still inspires both art knives and fighting designs.
I know there are others I’ve missed and skipped, but I there is no question that A.G. Russell will be on anyone’s list of knife milestones.
A.G. Russell, III passed away Friday, October 12, 2018 at Northwest Medical Center in Springdale, AR at the age of 85. The knife community will miss him.