Early Cutlery Firms Join Together


Being a fourth generation auctioneer and one who seeks to learn all I can about knife company history, anytime I find any information related to both of these areas, I am interested. Recently I did find a tidbit of auction and cutlery history combined.

Did you know that in 1877 several of the early American Cutlery Companies joined forces to auction a large amount of cutlery?

The auction was held in New York City on February 14th, 1877 and consisted of 800 lots. There was a very large attendance, including representatives of the leading houses in Boston, Philadelphia, Cincinnati, Chicago, Baltimore and even San Francisco.

Listed as participating in the auction was Beaver Falls Cutlery Company, Landers, Frary & Clark, John Russell Cutlery Company, Meriden Cutlery Company, Chicago Cutlery Manufacturing Company and Lamson & Goodnow Manufacturing Company.

The New York Times reported on that date that the auction prices “were extremely satisfactory, being up to current market rates” and there was discussion of making the joint auction a permanent thing. It did go on to say the auction would continue the next day.

The article goes on to say, “The companies, although they have succeeded in driving most of the English manufacturers out of the market, have met a serious obstacle of late in the establishment of cutlery manufacturing companies in the West. They thereby lost a considerable proportion of their trade. This fact, and the general depression of trade, have left on their hands a large overstock of goods they wished to get rid of.”

Reprinted with permission from The News at ElephantToenails.com

Published in: on September 17, 2008 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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