Wednesday, September 17, 2008

#19: Compton U-Set

Maker: Reliance Compton, Newark NJ, USA
Model: Unknown
Materials: Unknown
Year: 1941+, vintage
Length: 28cm/11"
Description: As shown. Remnants of black paint. Stamped with a 1941 patent
Estimated value: $5


  1. My Grandpa died last spring at age 98. He had kept his 1941 Reliance Compton Newark, N.J. U-set scissors issued to him by the military when he served as an ambulance driver in France in WW II. He was at Normandy. He told me that he was part of the fighting for St. Lowe. I know my Grandpa valued these scissors as a memento of his WW II service. So, when he died I asked for them. Now I keep them in my bedside table just as he did. I'm glad to find your site. My scissors are priceless to me. They are aesthetically appealing as well as a historical treasure from my beloved Grandfather. From this very personal start I might begin acquiring more antique scissors because they can be both beautiful and historically reflective. P.S. My scissors are smaller, compact, straight and very durable by today's standard. Again, they are 1941 and made by the same company.

    1. It nice to know some history of these scissors. I got mine from grandmother in 1988 after her death. I use them for sewing. My uncle was in Normandy in the invasion. He died 3 months later.

  2. I am looking to get my old Compton u-set of scissors cleaned, restored and mounted or framed for my boyfriend for x-mas. Anyone tell me how I can do this?

  3. A good frame shop could mount them--don't let them use tape. As for cleaning, less is often more in my opinion. Just hand polish with a jewelry cloth and put some desiccant inside the shadow-box or frame to prevent corrosion. That would be my approach.

  4. I just recently acquired a Compton U-SET 1941 scissor at my local flee market here in Boston, MA. Normally, I wouldn't consider the purchase, but you can definitely tell that they were made to last, a real gem. Easy mechanism, very sharp ( even after decades of neglect). The paint is all but gone and it was in need of a major cleaning, but with a little work they were as good as new. Great action, sturdy and ready for work! These scissors are a wonderful testament to the greatness of American manufacturing, something that we are not likely to see again in my lifetime. I paid $1. I wouldn't see them for $100.