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Old 09-05-2018, 11:14 PM
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samg samg is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Matthews NC
Posts: 651
Joe, upon your urging me to reread page 188 Gaddis', I did that. As you noted in an earlier post, on page 184 Gaddis' concludes from all available evidence that on ALL flights the Astro had scales on.
Then on page 188 Gaddis' indicates that:
"From the very beginning, Randall literature indicated that these knives were carried by the astronauts without the Micarta handle pieces. Bo even stated this in a letter to a customer dated 27 December 1961."

Gaddis goes on to say:
"But we have seen the photo of the original 9 Astros sent to Cooper for the project Mercury Men, and these have their Micarta handle pieces bolted in place"

Joe, by Dec 1961, only suborbital flights had been made by Shepard and Grissom. The Orbital flights starting with Glenn didn't begin until February 1962, after Bo wrote his letter to the customer,

Later on page 188 Gaddis' states that it was his guess that each man may have been allowed to do as he thought best in regard to the Micarta.
We know that in the 2 suborbital flights, the knife was stored in the hatch. With the payload restriction of the Redstone booster, there was severe restrictions on weight. On the Orbital flights with the more powerful Atlas booster, the astronauts carried their knives in the survival pack.
It seems that Gaddis' concluded that ALL knives were carried with scales on, based on the photos pre shipment, with the later caveat that each man could make his own decision in that regard.

Then we have Bo Randall stating that Alan Shepard flew his without scales on, and wrote a letter to a customer to that effect.
How Bo had knowledge that Shepard flew his without scales I do not know, but with Bo stating it In his advertisement, and making paperweights and tie clips without scales to illustrate that, that's provenance enough for me to believe that the 1st Randall in space didn't have scales.
We know now that Grissom and at least Gordon Cooper flew theirs with scales on.

Joe, you noted earlier that:

"The paperweight and tie clip I am not sure are a basis for anything of substance. It is apparent Bo liked the design, to include it seems the tang material removed and he also apparently liked the drilled holes for attachment of a scaled (or tenite) handle material. So perhaps he simply liked the look of the overall design in its stripped down form. "

It was more than that Joe. Bo claimed that Shepard flew it without the scales. A letter to a customer stated that.

This was my only point, that the scaleless Astro has it's place in Randall history, rather than "merely a side note", it made history as the first in space. Give it it's due.

Question, have you ever seen an early Astro made for the public that came with the early brown Micarta in a canteen snap Johnson sheath?
They have to be out there don't you think? I don't recall seeing one, but I know you have observed many more Astros than I have. If so, pics would be great.
Thanks Joe, and as always, I enjoy sparring with you. You are an asset to the community....
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