Knife History References

Since the majority of knife collectors are into traditional pocket knives, I wanted to share a list of knife books that are helpful to me when I’m deep into trying to run down some bit of knife history.  

I admit history was not my favorite subject growing up, but for many of us into old patterns or brands, we can’t help but get a little crazy about it now.

Need to check a fact or date

There are times almost all collectors need to turn back to the pages of early American cutlery history to look up a date or fact about a particular company or community.  

An old postcard picturing a burned building

Smethport Cutlery Co. June 1910

Smethport Cutlery Co. June 1910

The other day  I was looking around eBay and ran on an old post card. It pictured a burned cutlery plant in Smethport, Pa. Not sure if it was significant or not, off to my books I went.

Bingo! It was the Smethport Cutlery Co. factory and it burned on June 11, 1910. Even more significant was practically the whole Case extended family had been involved in this company.  

Jean Case, W R Case, Russ Case and H N Platts put up the money to buy the company and not long after that it burned. If you want the rest of the story, Brad Lockwood gives excellent details in The Case Cutlery Dynasty.

Thankfully, I ended up winning this prime piece of American cutlery history, but had I not been able to identify its significance, I would have passed it over.  

Reference List

Here is the list of books I have found to be helpful. They aren’t listed in a particular order, although I flagged some of my favorites. 

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