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Old letter opener - TBT


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This is an el-cheapo letter opener I bought at a 7-11, back in 1971. I'd like to find out it's brand (it was part a line of little gadgets that always had that phisical format, varying only in colors). Do any of you fellow old timers remember those? TIA


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Sorry, Den, I don't remember that one. I assume it slides apart to expose the blade?

Since my memory failed me, I tried both of Google's image search tools - https://www.google.com/advanced_image_search - and  - https://www.google.com/searchbyimage/upload - and Yandex's - https://yandex.com/images/search? - which I've often had more success with, but no luck. The image you provided unfortunately looks too much like various nail files, car reflectors, wax spreaders, leather cutting tools, or Japanese carving blades with brass covers. You might have more success since you know more about the item, or by using different images. Occasionally, using JPG images instead of PNG ones sometimes gets different results. It's always trial and error.

Out of curiosity, why are you looking for it? In any case, good luck!

Cheers and Regards

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Well, I still have it, and it still performs its duty superbly! I used to have another one that had a very small screwdriver (one side straight, Phillips on the other) inside a case just lake the one in the pics, but made of transparent yellow acrylic with the central black belt in polypropylene (I guess), which was intended refasten to the lenses on eyeglasses or the arms thereof, but that one has been lost in time. The other day I opened some bill with the one in the pics, then geve it a clean-up and decided to look for its maker's brand, just out of curiousity. IMO, it's very representative of the design os the late 60's and early 70's, and it's been quite a long time since such type of design disappeared... Belo are two more pics for you to see how it was inside (it's remarkable that the cutting edge of the blade is the straight one, not the curved one, BTW).



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Interesting internal design. I assume the blade is discolored from decades of use? And the plastic "surround" on either side of the blade is meant to protect little fingers? Or is the blade itself also plastic? From your first pic I thought it was rather flat, but it's actually kinda square. Just out of curiosity, it would be interesting to see a pic showing how it interacted with the envelope to be opened.

You mentioning a screwdriver version triggered something in my memories. I might have had one like that myself back in the day, LOL

Surprisingly, to me, when searching, most "letter openers" seemed to usually be more expensive ($15 -$25 or more) than "knives", all of which I know are WAY more expensive than your el-cheapo one was. But then prices from 1971 are LOONG gone. (gasoline is no longer 35 cents a gallon, but counting inflation I guess $15 today is equivalent to about $3 in 1971) The closest I could find (visually, though flat) was a Traditional Japanese craft knife - "joint" Yoshiharu Kiridashi for wood carving, with a carbon steel blade and brass handle/scabbard. They are relatively inexpensive, $5 - $12, or so, but shipping?? An example of the high end ($12) I found is this one - https://osakatools.com/products/wood-carving-marking-blade-cutter-kiridashi-chisel-craft-knife-yoshiharu-left-or-right-handed?currency=usd.




I'm sure yours was probably also made in Japan, the el-cheapo ones usually were back in 1971, but I don't know if we'll be able to find a picture of it now on the web, and thus find out the brand.

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Only for the record, more properly that is (in the west) a marking knife:


traditionally there are two of them, a left and a right one, but nowadays they are more commonly "merged" in a single one with a "spear point" *like*:


The type you found is an el-cheapo "common" tool, a kiridashi kogatana, of the type that is (was) used in Japan by kids at school, corresponding - loosely - to what we would call an utility knife:


Anyway, in UK:


in US:







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FWIW jaclaz post is in regards to the picture bphlpt posted and not what dencorso posted.

Now we are talkin 1971 in Brazil, what do you suppose the possibility is that it was a local product? Searching for "abridor de cartas" doesn't seem to help much... was this what the thing actually was sold as, or is this something that you have just been using it to open envelopes but was actually designed for something else?

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3 hours ago, Tripredacus said:

Now we are talkin 1971 in Brazil

No, we aren't. Back then I lived in Austin, TX. That was one of the 3 (non-contiguous) years I've spent in the US. :)

8 hours ago, bphlpt said:

Interesting internal design. I assume the blade is discolored from decades of use? And the plastic "surround" on either side of the blade is meant to protect little fingers?

Yes. It's carbon steel, not stainless, so it darkens with time. And the "surrounds" are protective, yes. One must insert the envelope between the "surrounds" while inserting the blade itself (straight side up) into the top of the envelope, to use it. And yes, it's designed specifically for the opening of envelopes. :yes:

BTW, there weren't 7-11s nor McDonald's in Brazil before 1980, and while the latter thrived and multiplied since then, the former didn't, so 7-11s don't exist here anymore...

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