The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #75102   Message #3044430
Posted By: GUEST,mike
01-Dec-10 - 04:16 PM
Thread Name: Wee pen knife
Subject: RE: Wee pen knife
The point I tried to make re. Tracy Andrews was, we all know it was a POCKET knife but people still insist on calling it a PENknife. Why?

Not sure if this is explains the BROWN blade, or if its accurate but Googled this-

Browning of metal
The purpose is to provide a thin coating on the outside of the iron and steel parts, so that they are protected from rusting and corrosion. The idea is to intentionally rust the outside surface and then stop the rusting processes. The outside layer then protects the inside parts from further rusting and corrosion.
The process of browning is the older process and has been known for centuries, even before firearms were invented. In Europe, this process was originally called "russetting" and the term "browning" came to be used later. Later on, a modified browning solution and process resulted in a dark blue/black finish, which began to be known as "bluing". It has been theorized that the result of browning its barrel is what gave the Brown Bess musket its name.
One of the more common agents was salt-water, which has been known as a rusting agent since the Iron Age. Salt water was definitely used at least until the middle 1800s or so.
http://firearmshistory.blogspot.com/2010/08/metal-treatments-browning-and-bluing.html