Jumping off the school bus and then accelerating toward my front door, I slowed down long enough to open the front door and dump my books in a heap. Before a beat up copy of Fundamental Geometry hit the floor, I was already bounding up the steps two at a time and heading for my room.
With a solid tear drop shaped handle, generally made of bone, and a clip blade, these workhorses from Sheffield came to our shores, but did not carry with them the disdain for other products of the Colonial overlords. Beloved by generations of adventuresome American adolescents, it may not have kept a good edge, but was beefy enough to whittle a toothpick from a log.
The status of the Barlow as the knife du jour for American boys and girls was elevated when Mark Twain wrote of a “sure-enough Barlow” in the 1876 novel, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. His use of “sure-enough”, or authentic, relates to its popularity among the youth of the time and the counterfeiting of established goods.
A traditional folk song extols the plain virtue of this affordable blade.
I been livin' here all my life, All I got is a Barlow Knife;
Buck horn handle and a barlow blade,
Best dang knife that ever was made.
It was the original EDC knife before Every Day Carry became the “tacti-cool” term. And Yes, they are waterproof.