The first Colonel Coon folder made was a Tennessee favorite, the Barlow. Mr. Harris shared there was tremendous doubt in the knife community that Tennessee Knife Works was really making the knives. He stamped his name on the gutter liner on the first 100-200 Barlows produced just to prove he really was making the knives. Early on, the raccoon was etched on the smaller pen blade, but was later dropped. Starting out, Barlow was stamped on the bolster, but then removed. It was later added back due to customer demand.
Traditionally one of the most requested knife patterns at a Knife Show, the variety of handle materials for this pattern is intriguing for experienced and new collectors. The jigged bone pictured was a special process created by cutting out every other tooth on the 1'2" tap and dragging the bone handle. Through the years, Mr. Harris would use his most unusual handle materials in this pattern. Particularly rare are beautiful Tennessee Mussel Shell handled barlow patterns. According to Mr. Harris, only two - three were made due to the intricacy of dealing with that specific handle material.
As collectors, we all know the highs of finding that treasure and the disappointment of going home empty handed. I collect a specialty pocketknife that many folks have never heard of or even seen one of the knives, Colonel Coon. With my Father (Don Hinch, who was a member of the Soddy Daisy Knife Club while living), I attended many knife shows, flea markets, estate sales, and any other place he thought could have pocketknives. After my Father passed, I continued to add to the collection but struggled to find additional knives given the scarcity of the original Colonel Coon pocketknives and my more limited schedule.