When selling Schrade, Diamond Edge and Keen Kutter, all made by Schrade in the 1930s, 1940s, 1950s; I find that schrade sells very quickly and the afar more rare Diamond Edge and Keen Kutter hardly sell at all.
The majority of knife collectors still do not recognize these SFOs as being valuable Schrades and Schrade Waldens. And there really aren't that many dedicated collectors of the hardware company knives outside of the folks of THCKK. I see the same thing with the Sears SFOs. The only solution I can see is to educate folks. A very daunting task, I am sure you are aware. Or target the hardware company collectors. That is a more direct way to reach an existing market.
PS- Here is their website. They are a national organization and have a newsletter which accepts advertising. http://www.thckk.org/
Sadly, the collecting/buying interest in Schrade didn't really catch fire till their demise...
Look at Schrade...before 2004, they were considered a "using" brand for the most part, with only some of the higher-end stuff being "collectible". Older schrades from the Walden and Cutco years were very reasonable. Now, they are easily 4 to 5 times the price they were going for pre-2004, and even the OT and UH products are going for big dollars.
So, education is the key. Sadly, there is no comprehensive encyclopedia of Schrade cutlery knowledge in print (yet!!), so word of mouth and the internet are stirring the interest in this brand. As collectors become more knowledgeable of this brand, they will branch out in search of associated brands.
People like Mike and others are doing their part to get the history out there.
The Schrade Branding and Marketing has always been knife oriented, that's what they made,Knives. While Keen Kutter was so deversified in many aspects of hardware goods that their knives just wern't as well known. Simmons had great marketing skills, but a lot on his plate, so to speak. I love my Keen Kutters, good quality and still at a good price. I have always wondered if Simmons had his knives made to his specs. or were they normal production knives with his stamping?
And don't forget that Mr. Voyles was comissioned by Mr. Taylor this summer to write the definitive collector's book on Schrade. Surely by now his work has born some fruit, though Mr. Voyles has not visited us here since his announcement and solicitation back in...June? July? Has anyone spoken to Mr. Voyles to see if he has an estimated publication date yet?
I have found that the word is out on the Sears knives as I have sold several with no problem at premium prices. The Diamond Edge knives I see on Ebay are usually the tin clad models. For some reason the plastic covers always seem to be peeling off of these guys. I have a couple of the early DE's with solid bolsters and delrin handles that are really nice but rarely seen on Ebay.
I think these were made right after Imperial Schrade bought the rights.
Just was reviewing some forums (as I do not spend a lot of time in any forums as a general rule) and saw a query on my progress on the Schrade book.
I'm working on it. Books are not like magazine articles and are slow gos. My goal is to have it out and in hand for introduction at the 2008 SHOT show.
Stewart Taylor has donated some start up money to get things started, because he understands the benefits of having a historical record and guide for collectors. (Just take a look at the books on Case and you can see what I mean.)
However I think I should go on record as saying that he has no editorial control, it is my book, and I decide what is said and what goes in it.
As the owner of Schrade he has bought his ticket and paid the admission to the Schrade historial record, to the tune of several million dollars. Just as the Schrade story didn't end when George sold the company to his brothers, and it didn't end when Albert Baer bought it, and it didn't end when the Walden factory closed and moved to Ellenville, it didn't end when Schrade ceased manufacturing knives in Ellenville. All those are different chapters in the Schrade history. And Stewart owns Schrade now, there are Schrade knives being made still (some of them will again be American made I am told). If he had not bought it or had been outbid, someone else would still own the Schrade name--the name had too much value to simply vanish away. And another owner might not have been interested in promoting the history of Schrade.
Schrade has a fascinating history, it's history is so smiliar to Case in both tang mark changes, patterns, time line, that is somewhat amazing that Case has such a wider following. I have opinions on why that is on which I will elaborate in the upcoming book.
As I said earlier as I get things more lined out I will be soliciting all the help I can get from everyone, including those of you willing to help in this forum.
At the SHOT show I lined up upcoming interviews with former Schrade sales managers, plant managers, and even the son of the head of the Rodgers/Wostenholm era under Schrade management.
I'm especially looking for some vintage photos of workers inside the factories for backgrounds, endpapers in the book, etc. All contributions will be acknowledged in the book.
And thanks to each of you for your continued interest in Schrade knives and the progress of the book.
I appreciate your taking the time to stop in and fill us in on the book's progress. I can well imagine the enormity of the undertaking. So much of Imperial Schrade's history has gone undocumented for much too long. The small amount of published material out there is also getting scarce. Like the reprint Mr. Russell did of the early Schrade Cut Co catalogs. And most of the price, commemorative and collectable guides over the years have had very sparse information about Schrades while giving many pages to other brands. Pretty understandable since those other brands had a higher popularity and value as collectables, whereas Schrades have really only recently caught the eye of many collectors.
I am very much looking forward to owning and reading your book. The interviews you mentioned will be gems, I am sure. Those guys who were there all those years are bound to have some interesting and important stories to tell.
A SHOT Show intro is a good idea, but I hope you'll consider giving us a chance to buy copies before the rush is on!