This is the knife that started it all for the Pathfinder!
Early 1990’s L.L. Bean Edition Pathfinder in mint condition.
Serial Number 193
One of Approx. 375 Made!
Early Molded Pouch Style Sheath
$10.00 USPS Priority Shipping
***PLEASE SEE BELOW FOR THE HISTORY OF THESE KNIVES!***
HISTORY LESSON ON L.L. BEAN PATHFINDERS
L.L. BEAN SPECIAL (from a 1990 RKS newsletter)
L.L. Bean of Freeport, Maine is offering in their Fall 1990 catalog the Randall Pathfinder Model. The Pathfinder is a small drop-point hunting knife with an overall length of about 8-1/4 inches with a 4 inch blade. The L.L. Bean offering will be of imported Swedish .01 tool steel and the handle will be stag. The sheath will not be marked special.
On Monday I talked with Tom Ackerman, Bean’s Product Manager for the Hunting and Fishing Department, and he informed me that the new catalog would go out the second week in August. The product order number for the knife will be F56330000 and the price is $235.00. The blade will be etched with L.L. Bean and the serial number. The thinking now is that the total order will be for about 150 to 200 knives with 112 presently being on order. L.L. Bean’s toll free order number is 1-800-221-4221 24 hours — 7 days a week.
L.L. Bean has been a Randall dealer for approximately 30 years. Randall will to continue to offer the Pathfinder to its knife buying public and will probably be a regular model in the next catalog. ///// Rhett Stidham
L.L. BEAN UPDATE (from a 1991 RKS newsletter)
Did you get an L.L. Bean Special Pathfinder? A lot of you did, but some of you didn’t. According to Fred Butts, L.L. Bean customer relations, this knife was sold out even before their catalog hit the market. I called Fred because some of you informed me that Bean had even called you trying to get you to cancel your order after they had accepted same. He informed me that during most of the year they have as many as 700 people taking phone orders and as many as 1200 to 1300 during the peak holiday season. Therefore, it is sometimes 24 to 36 hours before inventory control can make proper stock adjustments and tell the customer that a given item is sold out.
The original order was for 112 knives but was increased to 150 when the orders started pouring in. Over 200 orders were taken for this knife so this necessitated Bean trying to get you to cancel your order. In December I talked to Tom Ackerman and “Mo” Distasio, “Mo’s” a girl, both of L.L. Bean and the future was uncertain at that time for the Pathfinder at Bean. They did want to continue selling Randalls, especially since this was such a huge success, but no definite plans had been made at that time. I was promised an update as to this matter. I called Gary Randall on January 17, 1991 and he informed me that he was shipping 25 more knives to L.L. Bean on February 7th, bringing the total up to 175.
On February 1, 1991 Gary Randall informed me that L.L. Bean had ordered 200 more Bean Pathfinders for 1991. The knives will be the same as the original 175 knives and the serial numbers on these knives will start at 176 and continue through 375.
About a week later Fred Buns was nice enough to call and tell me how these knives will be sold. These knives will not be available until the Fall Hunting Specialties catalog drops on August 1, 1991. This is being done so all Bean customers will get a fair chance at this extended run of Bean Pathfinders. The 1991 price is yet to be determined.
Fred also informed me that the first 12 Bean knives were etched L.L. BEAN (all capital letters) and the remainder of the knives were etched L.L. Bean. Very Interesting!
L.L. Bean’s toll free number is 1-800-221-4221, 24 hours a day — 7 days a week. ////Rhett Stidham