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Thread: Blade Hall of Fame

  1. #1
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    Blade Hall of Fame


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    I Googled cutlery hall of fame and was surprised to see Albert Baer was inducted as the founder of Schrade Cutlery. Albert and Henry bought Schrade Cutlery about 42 years after my Great Grandfather started the company in 1904. I think George Schrade should be in the Hall of Fame, don't you? BTW I met Uncle Henry a couple of times. He was a real gentleman and a real down to earth guy. I'm told a polar opposite of his brother.

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    Welcome to the forum William!

    Schrade cutlery evolved many times from it's original founding in 1904, as I am sure you are aware. The company which eventually became th Imperial Schrade Corporation under Albert Baer was born of a series of aquisitions made by Albert over many years beginning in the 1920's with stocks of Camillus, then the ownership of Ulster which affiliated itself with an old enemy, Imperial. Then the purchase of Schrade Cutlery Co from the Schrade family after WWII. Eventually the purchase of all of the outstanding Camillus stocks from the Kastor family, then Imperial stocks from the Mirando and other families involved there. What do I think? I think there should be a historical founder's roll which includes all of the major founders of cutleries in the U.S. But I understand what the current Hall Of Fame is. It was/is a promo for a publisher. Most founders and innovators do not get the recognition they deserve including the Schrade brothers, the Kastors etc.

    Michael
    "A knife in a mans hand is as precious as a diamond necklace on a womans neck" Felix Mirando

    As the great Andrew Martin once said "One is glad to be of service".

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    Terrific of you to post here William. Thank you. I would love to see a photo of any knives you may wish to show and beg your indulgence to post a photo of your famous elder(s). Your family has my personal admiration and thanks for your outstanding contribution to the cutlery industry. I enjoy collecting the interesting & innovative knives of one of the early giants in the industry George Schrade in particular. Here's one:
    Last edited by oregon; 10-10-2012 at 01:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by William Schrade View Post
    I Googled cutlery hall of fame and was surprised to see Albert Baer was inducted as the founder of Schrade Cutlery. Albert and Henry bought Schrade Cutlery about 42 years after my Great Grandfather started the company in 1904. I think George Schrade should be in the Hall of Fame, don't you? BTW I met Uncle Henry a couple of times. He was a real gentleman and a real down to earth guy. I'm told a polar opposite of his brother.
    Thanks for posting! Do you have any old Schrade's we may not have seen? We love pictures! "Hall of Fame" inductions in any field tend to be quite subjective and are often done more for promotional than historical reasons as Codger pointed out. My vote if I had one? Sure, George Schrade's contributions should be recognized.

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    George as well as his brothers. Bet you can't name them all, can you?
    "A knife in a mans hand is as precious as a diamond necklace on a womans neck" Felix Mirando

    As the great Andrew Martin once said "One is glad to be of service".

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    William, great to see you posting here! It was a real pleasure to meet you at Canal Street a couple weeks ago, surprised the heck out of me! Heck I think George Schrade should be at the top of the list in the Hall of fame. Knives were his life, not just a means of making a living.

    Eric

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    Quote Originally Posted by ea42 View Post
    William, great to see you posting here! It was a real pleasure to meet you at Canal Street a couple weeks ago, surprised the heck out of me! Heck I think George Schrade should be at the top of the list in the Hall of fame. Knives were his life, not just a means of making a living.

    Eric
    Hi Eric, I must say you guys are pretty well hidden in the back there. I new I was in the right place when I could smell the bone. Wish I could have met Wally. I did meet your father back in the late 70's after I my brother George and I were invited up by Irv Tractenberg whom we met at a knife show in Louisville. Glad to see you guys keeping your production in the states. You make a beautiful product. Bill

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    Quote Originally Posted by Codger_64 View Post
    George as well as his brothers. Bet you can't name them all, can you?
    Well, there was J. Louis, who sued George over a patent infringement and lost. Then there was William. What he did at the company, I don't know. George had two sons. George Martin who traveled with him to Germany and Oscar who lived in Virginia and was in the lumber business. George Martin had one son, Theodore George. AKA Ted. Ted had three daughters and three sons. George, Theodore, and William. I'm the youngest. Did I forget someone?
    You might know more than I. I never met any Schrades other than direct descendents of George.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Thinkstoomuch View Post
    Thanks for posting! Do you have any old Schrade's we may not have seen? We love pictures! "Hall of Fame" inductions in any field tend to be quite subjective and are often done more for promotional than historical reasons as Codger pointed out. My vote if I had one? Sure, George Schrade's contributions should be recognized.
    Dave, I do have some pictures but I will have to dig them out from where ever they are. The actual knives are locked up in a safe deposit box. We are negotiating with the P.T. Barnum Museum here in Bridgeport to be curators of our collection. We donated some knives to the National Knife Collectors Museum but I've been told after the move to the new location they were misplaced. HMMMMM.

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    This might be a good place to mention the new museum for American made knives in Warwarsing. Bill, you might want to research this; it could be worth your while (and ours!). Here is a link to a thread to follow. http://www.allaboutpocketknives.com/...p?f=35&t=20159
    Always looking for larger Schrade Cutcos, cattle knives & lovely old bone.

  11. #11
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    William, Thanks for posting in our little corner of the internet.
    I have wondered why George and George M were not in the Hall of Fame.
    Maybe we can find out.
    I've gotten that dreaded furniture disease. That's when your chest is falling into your drawers!

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    Some quotes relating to the Blade Magazine Hall Of Fame from a discussion held in the Levine forum here in 2008 regarding the late Jim Parker:

    Quote Originally Posted by bernard_levine View Post
    Welcome Bruce.

    Thanks for filling in the background.

    You probably knew him better than anybody.

    Like you, I just report what I know firsthand.

    Didn't you and he start the Cutlery Hall of Fame? Or was that just you?

    BRL...
    Quote Originally Posted by TennKnifeman View Post
    Actually the idea for a Cutlery Hall of Fame was first ventured in an article by B. R. Hughes. I put it into being under the auspices of Blade Magazine. With Jim Parker's support and knowledge.

    We surprised him with his induction into the Cutlery Hall of Fame by the way, a tradition we tried to continue over the years. When A. G. Russell and Ken Warner were both inducted we asked A. G. to do Ken's introductory speech, and without their mutual knowledge asked Ken to do A. G.'s introductory speech.

    A. G. went first, talking about Ken (again who was unaware it was going to happen), and Ken picked up on it about 2 minutes into A. G.'s speech.

    Isn't your publisher, Houston Price, in the Cutlery Hall of Fame too?
    Quote Originally Posted by Codger_64 View Post
    The selection of inductees to the Cutlery Hall Of Fame continues to mystify me.

    At first glance, one would think that the list was comprised solely of persons living at the time of their induction. But several names such as William Scagel appear there, so that cannot be a criteria of selection.

    Neither can it be that only makers and manufacturers are inducted, but also authors and merchants engaged peripherally in the industry. All, no doubt, somehow played an role of perceived importance (to the selection comittee) in the knife industry.

    My wonderment is in part because quite a few of the names I know well are missing from the roll call. Such names as Michael and Felix Mirando and Dominic Fazzano, George, Jacob Louis, and William Schrade, Adolph, August, Sigmund and Nathan Kastor, Antonio Paolantonio, Platts and the Case family and many others whose patents and manufacturing improvements have brought us to this point in history.

    Just wondering is all.

    Codger
    Quote Originally Posted by TennKnifeman View Post
    When the Cutlery Hall of Fame began, the selection was done by an informal survey of the shakers and movers of the cutlery industry. The survey was conducted by me, and I tabulated the results. One of the major criteria was to pick people who had not simply been successful in the knife business--or had been around a long time--but had actually done something beyond doing their job.

    It was specifically said owning a knife company or having position in a knife company for 50 years was not enough to get you into the cutlery hall of fame--you had to give back beyond that. Which is why many well known factory owners were exempted right out of the gate.

    And that is also why collectors were included--because they did things to promote knives that they didn't have to. Pioneers and innovators in certain knife fields also got a preference, and writers and those whose work had an influence also came within the criteria.

    An emphasis was to induct people while they were still alive and thus able to enjoy the knowledge of the honor. And with the passing of Bo Randall, W. R. Williamson, M. H. Cole, Buster Warenski, Albert Baer, Henry Baer, George Herron, and several others I think it was a correct choice, as they all were able to see themselves receive the honor.

    I thought this system worked very well--but since I was the final word I would have. At the time I felt I was in touch with the game as well as anyone out there, and one of the few who bridged all segments of the industry whether vintage knives, knife shows, magazines, books, antique Bowies, and custom knives. However, in 1993 at the Blade Show that changed.

    The reason is that Ken Warner began a movement among all the existing members of the Cutlery Hall of Fame in which they induct someone outside the normal method then in place. Any by acclimation of all the living Hall of Fame members, and to my total surprise they inducted me. It was an unexpected--and deeply appreciated honor.

    After I discovered how they had chosen to induct me, it seemed like a better way than had been done earlier. So from 1994 on the Cutlery Hall of Fame members were nominated by existing Hall of Fame members, and in turn voted on by the Hall of Fame members. Each Hall of Fame member is given two votes, one counts 2 points, the other counts one point. Total points wins.

    The problem that has arisen since that time is that some Hall of Fame members lobby each other, trade their one point vote to someone else for a pledge of support on a candidate of their choice. etc.

    As the cutlery hall of fame members dilute the importance of the honor if they do not maintain achievers and supports of knives--the burden is upon the Hall of Fame members themselves to uphold the importance of that honor.

    Whether we are able to do that or not has been the subject over much discussion over many a bar drink at a knife show. If think it will be resolved soon...

    just after we get the world peace problem worked out.

    Bruce Voyles
    (Cutlery Hall of Fame Member)
    Quote Originally Posted by bernard_levine View Post
    Bruce

    I apologize for not reading your above accounts, but I was there, so I don't want to mess up my actual memories.

    The "Hall of Fame" was and still is just a publicity gimmick for BLADE.

    I used to tease you that neither Houston Price nor I would EVER be nominated as long as you and Jim were doing the nominations.

    The first year that you turned turned nominations over to the living members, both Houston and I were nominated, and 'elected.'

    Other than that, the choices ever since that change have been as foolish and corrupt as ANY political process, with lobbying, swaps and side deals of all sorts -- with two particular members (one of whom is active on this forum) being the worst offenders.

    It's nice that some people take it seriously.

    BRL...
    Quote Originally Posted by TennKnifeman View Post
    Actually I reinforced my memory on this by calling Steve Shackleford who was there as well, and asked his recollection. We both remember it the same way.

    You and Houston are in the Cutlery Hall of Fame because at the time I picked you, (along with the others in the informal survey of course). I distinctly remember talking to Steve and some others on the shocked look we expected on Houston's face, as I knew it would be totally unexpected. We did let his his daughter know so she could be there to see it.

    Jim Parker never gave imput into the Cutlery Hall of Fame selections after 1986.

    You're welcome.
    "A knife in a mans hand is as precious as a diamond necklace on a womans neck" Felix Mirando

    As the great Andrew Martin once said "One is glad to be of service".

  13. #13
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    i nominate Codger just because. (if you have to ask then you have not been paying attention)

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    Quote Originally Posted by delmas2nd View Post
    i nominate Codger just because. (if you have to ask then you have not been paying attention)
    Ah hahahaha! No, no. All I have acomplished is to P.O. some big movers and shakers. Some participants in that very thread!

    But I think the excerpted conversation does highlight what the H.O.F. is and is not.

    Perhaps some day some organization will found a non-affiliated hall of fame not intended to promote any individual event or business, but rather to recognize the pioneers of the American Cutlery industry. After all, while cutlery collectors may today be the bread and butter of knife manufacturers and publishers, in the timeline that is a recent advent.

    And yes, many of those recognized were influential in promoting the hobby as a means of increasing sales of manufactured goods. Nothing wrong with that and they do deserve recognition for promoting a hobby. But by and large, they are standing on the shoulders of some unrecognized captains of the industry.

    Before there were collectors there were knife users. Collectors are a smallish substitute for a very large segment of society that once used (and used up) knives in their every day lives and provided a constant and ever growing demand for product. Not to fill cases and drawers, but to fill needs.

    I am working on a recipe for whirled peas though.
    "A knife in a mans hand is as precious as a diamond necklace on a womans neck" Felix Mirando

    As the great Andrew Martin once said "One is glad to be of service".

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    Quote Originally Posted by William Schrade View Post
    Dave, I do have some pictures but I will have to dig them out from where ever they are. The actual knives are locked up in a safe deposit box. We are negotiating with the P.T. Barnum Museum here in Bridgeport to be curators of our collection. We donated some knives to the National Knife Collectors Museum but I've been told after the move to the new location they were misplaced. HMMMMM.
    Misplaced... what a misguided word. Maybe they will be shown in the next edition of the Schrade Collectors Club magazine, which seems to be misplaced as well.

    At any rate, nice to see you posting here.

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    Say Hal, do you know what became of the Schrade factory collection?
    "A knife in a mans hand is as precious as a diamond necklace on a womans neck" Felix Mirando

    As the great Andrew Martin once said "One is glad to be of service".

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    I thought that the collection was sold off to several individuals where some were placed on ebay. Then remaining going to SMKW.

    Russell

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    Quote Originally Posted by Codger_64 View Post
    Say Hal, do you know what became of the Schrade factory collection?
    No I don't know about it at all.

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    I remember us spotting bits and pieces on eBay for quite a while. I've not been to SMKW to see if any are displayed there. I seem to remember that they were cataloged and added to by Herman Williams from his own collection for the factory display boards.
    "A knife in a mans hand is as precious as a diamond necklace on a womans neck" Felix Mirando

    As the great Andrew Martin once said "One is glad to be of service".

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Codger_64 View Post
    Say Hal, do you know what became of the Schrade factory collection?
    Is this a test? A wise man once said: (http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/sh...ory+collection)

    Quote Originally Posted by Codger_64 View Post
    Hmmm... a lot of questions there. I don't really know the actual number of knives involved in the WIP at the auction. The official closing and initial layoff of employees was at the end of July 2004, but the auction was in October, IIRC. From the first of August until the October auction, at the direction of the bank and trustees, remaining Schrade employees assembled everything they could to fluff up the WIP inventory and lower the inventory of parts and raw materials. Additionally, when the bank siezed control at the end of July, it was reported that there were huge orders in house ready for shipment which might have been enough to clear a lot of debts. The WIP was purchased by the two retailers Smoky Mountain Knife Works and Blue Ridge Knives. They wholesaled box after box to dealers large and small. The factory collection and most of the prototypes, samples, and darn near everything finished but not nailed down was included. As to the volume we are talking here, the phrase "sixteen tractor trailer loads" sticks in my mind. Look at the posts circa October 2004 for the best estimates. Remember that today's "hits" on eBay includes the new Taylor Schrades.

    Michael

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