Knife Company Memorabilia- Cattaraugus Cutlery Co. wall display

It’s not everyday we find a true piece of knife company history. Last week an item sold on eBay and it was a true treasure.

Here’s the seller’s description:

c.1920- 1930 36” X 48″ FOLDING ADVERTISING BOARD, made of heavy cardboard, beautiful colors with blue, brown, cream, red and green.  The center picture is of a grey haired gentlemen in suit and tie peeling an apple with his pocket knife with “FRIENDS FOR 30 YEARS” in the frame.  The other two frames are (1) a picture of kitchen cutlery with “CATTARAUGUS –IS A GUARANTEE FOR CUTLERY” and on the other pocket knives with “LITTLE INJUN LINE-A KNIFE FOR EVERY USE.”  At the top center it says “CATTARAUGUS CUTLERY CO., LITTLE VALLEY, N.Y.”   On the top left is a picture of the “LITTLE INJUN” and on the top right is another picture of an “LITTLE INJUN.”  We understand that one is on display in the National Knife Museum.”

Oh yeah, I almost forgot- it sold for $869 plus $150 shipping (proving again, good stuff brings good prices, even in a bad economy).

Published in: on January 6, 2010 at 7:53 pm  Comments (6)  
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Case Family & American Cutlery History Video Documentary by Brad Lockwood Part I

Introducing a two-part video series on the Case Knife Family

Brad Lockwood, great-great-great grandson of Job Case- the patriarch and icon of the Case family cutlers- produced these videos for all Case and American cutlery history fans to enjoy.

This series is much like a cliff notes narrated version of his fantastic book, “Tested XX – The Case Cutlery Dynasty.” Brad does an excellent job providing us footage of many of the historic homes and knife factory sites in Little Valley, NY- “The Village of Knives,” in addition to Case family history. Members of the Case family either worked for or started 32 different knife companies over the years.

Stay tuned for Part II later this week.

Wrench and Tool Knives

guppiecrkI’ve already admitted to you earlier this week I am a gadget nut. I like unusual inventions. Today, if you want a knife gadget you get something like the Guppie by CRKT.

The newest ones are cool, but to most knife collectors our preference is even odder than that.

homeimprovI have never considered myself a tool/wrench knife collector (probably like most folks who own knives, but don’t consider themselves collectors either), but let’s just say a have a few. The other odd fact is I’m not a tool guy at all, but even still I like old wrench and plier knives.

The other day, I ran across and their section on vintage wrenches & knife tools. I was reminded I had a couple.

These are the  wrench knife combo made by the same knife company- the Cattaraugus Cutlery Company, Little Valley, NY. In fact, Tint Champlin, the son of founder, actually invented and patented their first knife wrench.

Knife Tool Patent granted to Tint Champlin in 1918.

Knife Wrench Combo Patent granted to Tint Champlin in 1918.

Cattaraugus Combo Knife and Wrench pre-1918

Cattaraugus Combo Knife and Wrench pre-1918

Now here’s the real deal. Pretty primitive looking isn’t it? The knife was only made for a couple of years and is extremely rare.

On the wrench part of the knife it has “PATENT APPLIED FOR.” The patent drawing shows a date of March 8, 1917, so who knows if it was before that or not. It was patented March 5, 1818.

1- W Cattaraugus Wrench Knife- 1920s

Cattaraugus 1- W Wrench Knife- about 1920

Cattaraugus began selling the 1- W combo knife tool next and around 1920.

Cattaraugus 3-W Wrench Knife

Cattaraugus 3-W Wrench Knife- early 1920s

Around the same time came the 3- W (don’t know what happened to the 2-W?).

Cattaraugus Cutlery Co. catalog from 1922 actually shows this model as the earlier 3- W.

The other 3- W pictured in Levine’s 4th Edition is from the 1930s. The differences are the form/shape of the cap lifter. The more recent one is very pointed.

1922 Cattaraugus catalog showing the 1-W and early 3-W model

1922 Cattaraugus catalog showing the 1-W and early 3-W model


The earlier model 3-W

Here’s a 3- W that went off on eBay yesterday. It sold for $482.

Obviously, these knives were our modern-day tool’s predecessors. Thought you would enjoy.

I’m doing a little digging on the old plier knives too, but that is for another day.

Source: Dewey Ferguson’s Cattaraugus Cutlery Co. catalog reprint.

The Year 1900 Here I Come- Google & Time Travel



Geek Rated: Beginner

I have this affinity for early American cutlery firm history around the years of 1900 through about 1915.

Case Brothers began making their own knives in Little Valley, NY. Then W R Case & Son opened in LVNY too.  C Platts opened its factory in Eldred, Pa. And then you have all other cutlery firms too, like NYKC, Miller Bros., and Cattaraugus, just to name a few.

The truth is I really wouldn’t want to have lived during that time, but would love to fold time and step back… just for a few days. I’d give my eye tooth to be able to handle a newly made Case Bros. pearl elephant toenail knife (or C. Platts Jumbo Swellcenter!), or walk through the Case Brothers factory.  

In case you are wondering where I am going with this- Well, I am two clicks away from being able to go back in time to that place. Google is replicating time travel. It has already provided the wormhole to ancient Rome on Google Earth. If you have never used Google Earth, it is really cool coming in from space to that spot on the earth. 

If Google can transport us to 320 A. D, then I just know it will be any day I will be able to go back a mere 108 years… I just don’t want to get Grinders Consumption while I’m there.