The W. R. Case and Sons NASA Astronaut Knife M-1
In 1966, Case produced a special limited-edition model of the survival knife that they produced for NASA. This M-1 Survival Knife has been carried on every manned Gemini and Apollo space flight since the "Molly Brown" with astronauts Grissom and Young in 1965. One accompanied Neil Armstrong t the moon. Armstrong is pictured with one of these knives on the Case company historical timeline.
Not many knives are noteworthy enough to be featured individually on the Case historical timeline. One of these knives is in the Smithsonian Institute Museum.
The M-1 model 1966 knife is a survival knife and actually resembles a machete. It is 17" long overall and has a 11 3/4" blade. It features white polypropolene handles (the lightest plastic that gives off no fumes) and saw teeth along the back of the blade. The original knife came housed in a special wooden display case with a space capsule in the background. Case made 2,494 of the knives for sale to the public at $75.00 each back in 1966. This knife was discontinued January 1, 1972.
In 1983 Case produced a special "2nd run" of 1000 knives commemorating NASA's 25th anniversary. The anniversary knife is identical to the original M-1 except that the blade has been etched with a special color logo.
I found both of my knives on Ebay. The original model 1966 was purchased in November 2002 from a gentleman in New Jersey. It is serial number 1929.
The 25th Anniversary model was also purchased from Ebay in 2002 and it sports serial number 0555 of 1000.