Many many older production knives hand no mark on blade ,some did on the handle and even if so it would be hard to tell you what steel it is. Edge holding is not dependent on the steel style but on the heat treatment of THAT particular steel as well as the geometry of the edge. In other words worry less about steel type and research how the maker heat treats it. I myself use only one type of steel, I know it very very well and I heat treat it with modern highly controlled tools,that and a though understanding of edge geometry is what you should look for in a maker. Dont get baffled with the BS makers can throw out there, dazzled by parlor tricks on DVDs or steel of the month makers. A friend named Clint Smith once said " Beware of the man who only has one rifle,he likely knows how to use it" That kinda applies with everything including knife steel.I envey all of you knife builders, you trully have awesome talent.
Now if you dont mind i got a question for you. I have had several knives and honestly they have all sucked they will NOT hold an edge. With that said my dad has a Knife that is an old knife and he usually sharpens it once a year or sometimes once every other year. he uses it to gut and to debone the deer, I can not find a brand name on the knife so I am wondering if it is something that a custom builder would have done, or atleast what kind of steel would it likely be made out of for the edge to stay so sharp?