I worked for Mercedes Benz of North America for nearly 11 years, from late 1984 until Sept of 1995. It was a warehouse job, slinging parts, and I was fired in '95 for being a malcontent. It was the best thing that ever happened to me, for it started me down the road to becoming an IT client-facing superstar in the electronic trading arena.

On October 1st, the position I'd been in for the last 14 years was "eliminated"... I'm not at liberty to discuss details or circumstances of my separation (ProTip for any younger Jalops who may just be starting out in the world of "gainful employment"- under no circumstances should you ever discuss details of your professional life online, good, bad or indifferent; keep your personal junk and your professional milieu separate, especially if you're in the "corporate" world, because they are watching), but I will say that I'm ok for the short term. I won't be needing to sell my blood just yet...

One thing that I am doing, though, is beginning to catalog a garage full of collectibles. And since i did manage to scrounge a fair amount of Mercedes-specific stuff in 11 years, and am turning it up in my scrounging, I thought I'd share some. So I guess this is the first in a series... let's call it "Junk I Cadged From Mercedes".

In 1989, I celebrated 5 years in the Midwest Parts Distribution Center (the PDC), and as corporations may sometimes do, I was granted a boon to commemorate that august anniversary. One morning, in my "picking basket"- where I would normally find parts orders to be fulfilled- there was an over-sized, glossy catalog of "premium" items, from which I could select one.

There was the usual assortment of branded swag; Cross pens, leather folios, a crystal paperweight or five, but there was one unique item that stood out to me in irresistible fashion. See, I have something of a cutlery fetish, so I simply had to have this...

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It's a pretty bog-standard Gerber straight-back, made in Portland Or., per the stamp on the bolster. The vehicle depicted "was a car produced in New York, the "American Mercedes", which was basically a reproduction of the 45 hp Mercedes. It first appeared at the National Automobile Show in New York in January 1905. The first vehicle was delivered in 1906, at a price of 7,500 dollars." [SeriousWheels]

I've never seen another, though I doubt I'm the only person to have requested one. I've looked online several times, and in collectible knife price guides, but apparently this one flew under everyone's radar.

Thakn for reading this first installment of "Junk I Cadged From Mercedes".