Thank you for your response! I guess it goes to show that back then, even the “cheap” wood tools were better than todays’ stuff.
The blade is indeed bi-metal, as the back half is grey after de-rusting, and the front (cutting edge) is a darker, harder steel. What you said about someone finding a substitute blade, I think that is the case, as the round top portion of the blade is not symmetrical. Looks like someone cut a sheet of iron, welded the harder steel onto it and then flattened it. I have about 3/4 of an inch of the hard stuff. As I always pull my blade back into the body after using a plane, it should last my lifetime at least.
Someone had “procured” my little can of black enamel, and I didn’t want to run to the hardware store for more, so the contrasting color of the plane is a dark royal blue. That is the stamped in letters and numbers, the adjustment know and maybe the top of the front knob screw. As I said, I plan on using it, not collecting it, so it doesn’t really matter to me if the paint scheme is original.