The congress knife usually has a convex front with a straight or very shallow concave back. Congress knives can have two or more blades and they are normally found in a four blade configuration. A six bladed congress is slightly less common. A congress knive will generally have two master blades which are generally a sheepfoot and a spear blade and four-bladed models will also include a coping and pen blades. The four blade congress is the most popular style of this type of knife and is the pattern commonly seen and used.
With their characteristic back-bent handles, congress knives are fairly easy to spot. The main blades of a congress (sheepfoot and spear) are normally substantial enough that they can be used as a replacement for larger single blade folders. The additional pen and coping blades are of a size that makes them excellent for use in more delicate or intricate knife work.
For much of its history the congress knife was used mainly in the south as a tobacco knife even though it was originally intended to be a pen knife for use in making quill pens. It eventually became less of a regional type knife and was probably made infamous by the fact that President Lincoln was carrying a congress knife the night he was killed. This makes the congress knife rather unusual and quite unique among the more traditional knife patterns since it was originally a regional knife pattern more commonly found in the southern parts of the country.
Staying above the water line!