The skinning knife, as we know it, was born in the early 1800's as a necessary tool of mountain men, trappers, traders and those moving west. It was a hard working tool originating as a piece of high carbon steel, perhaps from an old file, and a piece of antler or wood for a handle. As time went on and the need became more obvious, the cutlery firms of England began to fill the demand through the eastern trading companies. In 1834, John Russell began to make knives in America at his factory on the Green River in Greenfield, Massachusetts. His knives soon found their way into the Rocky Mountains and became a part of the fur trade and were being sold to trappers, mountain men, and Indians. During the period 1840 through 1860 Russell shipped 5,000 knives a year to Americans moving west. His blades were marked with his Green River trademark and 'Green River' entered the language as a synonym for 'well done!' Everyone, here and abroad, copied the Russell Green River knives. The Green River skinners found their way through history as the trapper and fur traders tool, as the buffalo shooters companion, as a trade item for the Indian, as a tool for the plains farmer, and forever with us Americans as a part of our past. And in this respect, is the 'common' skinner much different than the military knife.