By the late 16th Century, pocket knives began to regain popularity. They were especially popular in the American colonies. From farmers to lawyers, men from all walks of life started to carry them. The ultimate portable tool, the pocket knife was a useful aid in various tasks, including eating on the go.Pocket knives have been an essential tool for soldiers throughout American history. New York and New Hampshire required their militias to carry pocket knives during the American Revolution. Even George Washington toted one around as he led his troops. The U.S. Navy began issuing pocket knives to sailors during the Civil War. During WWII, the pocket knife was standard issue for American GIs.