This is the knife that is the prize of my Harry K. McEvoy collection because it is one-of-a-kind. It has an amazing story.
In the video I called it a “Model No. 81” by mistake. Actually as you will see in the letters below it was (sort of) a Model No. 82 for a “franchise” Harry licensed a few of his models to called Tru-Bal West. Harry never actually offered this version publicly so it really didn’t have an actual Tru-Bal™ model number but I’ll call it an 82 here to keep it simple (hopefully).
On March 22, 1983 Harry K. McEvoy wrote me a letter that contained this information:
Just a note to say I appreciate your nice letter of 3/17 and I’m glad you understand about my son taking over Tru-Bal when I die or become unable to carry on the business.
I sold the entire manufacturing rights to my models #1 & 3 (including the die set for #1) to:
Mr. George Tew – (owner)
PO Box 1496
Pawhuska, Okahoma, 74056
The franchise included the name: TRU-BAL WEST.
I’m sure you have models #1 & 3. These are the two they have to sell, plus one I designed for them – their Model #82 “Indian Lancehead Professional Thrower.” It is simply a model #80 of my regular line with the “wings” ground off – as per attached above. If you want one I’ll revamp a #80 for you – price would be $27.00 – same as for the #80, since I have to use a #80 to make a #82 Lancehead Thrower. I still have about a dozen only left of #80, and when they are sold that will be the end of them. I would not charge you anything to convert a #80 to the Lancehead thrower, but NO discount on #80.
(He talked about changes he was making to his model #5 here too.)
Harry K. McEvoy
PS – Would enjoy seeing you in MICH. if you get up this way this summer.
The son he was talking about was of course Stephen D. McEvoy who is still making knives today that you can buy from him. The PS was because I have family in Michigan and I wrote him that I thought I could get up to my family reunion that summer and I might have been able to stop by and visit with him. I did not get a chance to do that and I really regret it now. I surely would have met Stephen then too no doubt!
He drew me a picture of what would be involved to convert a #80 into a #82 by cutting out the picture of a #80 in his catalog and drawing on it. He stapled that picture to his letter. You can see below.
I definitely took Harry up on his offer for an “Indian Lancehead Professional Thrower” and sent him a check with a new order.
On Thursday, 5/19/1983 he sent me this letter:
Dear Mr. Gary,
Thank you for your order for 3 #79 Sport-Pros and one Indian Lancehead Thrower – all without sheaths.
Fortunately I made up a Lancehead (from a #80) a few weeks ago while I still had some stock left on #80. (I still have 4 #80’s left in stock but that’s all and I think they will (soon) be considered “collectors items” I’ll save them for you if you want them at $27 each without sheaths ($31 with sheaths) at the 1981-82 prices. But you should let me know pronto.
(He wrote more about the #79’s I ordered and took care of some very rare business I’ll talk about in another post some other time.)
Harry K. McEvoy
Then on May 24th, 1983 when I received my shipment he wrote this on the invoice:
1 Special Lancehead Thrower (Rush) – $27.00
(NOTE – No more “Lanceheads” are available. This was the only one I made up. -HKM)
So that is my proof that this is a one-of-a-kind extremely rare throwing knife. I’ll post entire copies of all of these letters in the correspondence section of this web site.
This is the description of their version of this knife that Tru-Bal West used in their 1984 catalog…
Overall length 13-1/2″, width 2″, thickness 3/16″, weight 14 ounces. The new TRU-BAL-WEST Indian Lancehead throwing knife design is based upon those famed professional knives used by the late great knife thrower, Chief White Cloud of the Seneca Indian Nation and later by his equally famous son Che Che (Kenneth Pierce). Center balanced for professional style throwing by the handle or blade. Made of tough, tempered spring steel that will stand up to a lifetime of rugged use, it is fully guaranteed not to break. Throwing instructions included. Please add $4.00 if a strong leather sheath is desired.