Cutlery History- Case Brothers Cutlery Company Wood Knife Box

My mind’s on knife history right now. I’ve always heard if you think on a thing a lot you develop ruts in your mind and your thinking tends to run along those lines, so I guess this is why my last few post have related to cutlery company history.

The second reason cutlery history is top of mind for me right now- I found a knife box at Parkers Knife Show yesterday. This knife box is different from the typical old paper box commonly found. Yep. This is a wood knife box. Rarely will you find a wooden knife box.

On top of that most knife boxes are made for a single knife, whereas this knife box was used to contain up to at least a dozen knives. How cool is that?! But wait- it gets even better!

Wood Case Brothers Knife Box c.1907/1908

Case Brothers Cutlery Company

This knife box was used by Case Brothers Cutlery Company (c.1900- 1914). You probably already know Case Brothers is one of my all-time favorite old knife companies. This box is guesstimated to have been used around 1907/08 based on its reference to their Kane, Pa. factory.

Marked Pattern No. 6250  1/2 Dozen

Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you this particular box contained a half dozen of their 6250 pattern (their “bone stag” handle material number) knives. Do you know what knife that is? The answer is what we call the Elephant Toenail, of course. As we’ve discussed in Pieces of cutlery history travel down through time together, you know anytime I can link  items from cutlery history I am ecstatic, and particularly, when one of the items is my favorite knife.

1904 Case Brothers Cutlery Co. '50 catalog listing

The Conversion of a Rebel & Case Knives

Weekend Edition

When I first started collecting pocketknives I learned of Case knives. Then I kept running into Case knives. Everyone I talked to talked about Case knives. It was obvious Case knives were very popular and the throngs of collectors wanted Case knives.

No, I don't fly a Rebel Flag

No, I don't fly a Rebel Flag

I am a bit of a rebel. I don’t follow the crowd. I registered Independent. The last thing I want to do is the thing everyone else is doing. And as as it related to collecting knives, I decided-

I was NOT going to collect Case knives!

And I didn’t, instead I built a collection of German-made knives (H. Boker). Then years later I started collecting elephant toenails  and I wanted the old stuff! 

I can hear you chuckling now

Everyone who has been ’round knife collecting for very long knows Case is where every collector eventually gets to- one way or another. It is kinda of like what we say down here in the South- you can’t get there without having to first go through Atlanta (airport). The same is true for Case and especially for a collector of old American made knives.

You see, Case was a major player back when elephant toenails were first made. Case Brothers made them. W. R. Case &  SON had toenails made by Napanoch around 1902. Then you had the Platts (jumbo swellcenter!!) and W R Case merger around 1905. And the whole time Case toenails were produced, not to mention Crandall, Little Valley Knife Association, on and on. Everywhere I turned was a Case knife or family member.

Try as I might, I couldn’t collect old toenails without falling in love with Case and its fascinating history. If you have been around or CNJ for very long you probably thought I was a stock holder, on salary or something, but I’m not. I resisted it tooth and nail and then naturally fell for this firm.

cccmagwinter2008resizedlowresToday I am a proud member of the Case Collectors Club and this week received the CCC magazine, which, incidentally, mentions Cutlery News Journal’s interview with Tom Arrowsmith, the President of W R Case Cutlery Co., on the CNJ Knife Show.

The CCC  has grown from a handful of members in 1981 to 18,000 members worldwide. I can attest to the fact- these folks are fanatics when it comes to Case knives. I have been fortunate to have been asked to conduct the auctions for two Case events in Bradford, Pa and I’ve never seen anything like it. casefanknife

And I must confess one day you may see me like this too, cause the conversion of this rebel is complete.20080718_0778