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Imperial knife I.D.

Discussion in 'Schrade Knives Collectors Forum' started by gradall5200, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. gradall5200


    Mar 12, 2006
    Just a couple of identification questions- First off this knife says imperial USA on the stamp, does that automatically make it a schrade? I was a little unsure about the history where schrade comes in with imperial. And if this is a schrade are all imperial knives schrades? Second does anyone know a rough age of this knife, if it is a schrade? If not a schrade I guess I dont care as much. Found this knife looking for somthing else and it brought up some questions. thanks joel[​IMG]480376.jpg[/img][/url][​IMG]
  2. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    It depends on how narrowly you care to define what is a Schrade. The names changed, owners changed, corporate structure changed quite a few times. Do you believe an Ulster knife is a Schrade? A Kingston? What about a George Schrade Schradebrand? Is the Schrade geneology a straight stick, or is it a tree with branches and roots?

    I see two patents visible in the pictures, though a third may lurk just out of sight below them.

    #2170537 issued Aug. 22nd, 1939 to Felix Mirando Knife Handle and Components
    #2281782 issued May 5th, 1942 to Felix Mirando Improved ornamental covering for Knife frame

    I believe your knife was made some time post-WWII. Albert Baer's Ulster Knife Company (he bought Ulster, then known as Dwight Divine & Sons, Inc. in 1941) formed an association with Imperial Knife Company in 1942, Imperial Knife Associated Companies. Baer did not, however own the Schrade Cutlery Company at that time. It's ownership still remained with the Schrade brothers. Baer's Kingston Cutlery Company, formed in 1943 using an old Ulster trademark, purchased Schrade in 1946. At which time, it ceased to be Schrade Cut Co, as we have come to know it. It became Schrade Walden Cutlery Corporation, a division of Imperial Knife Associated Companies Group, which included:

    Imperial Knife Company, Inc. of Providence, R.I.
    Ulster Knife Company Inc. of Ellenville, N.Y.
    Schrade Walden Cutlery Corp., of Walden N.Y.
    Kingston Cutlery Co., addressed New York, N.Y.
    Vulcan Razor Corporation of Maplewood N.J.

    In 1947, Kingston Cutlery Company was dissolved, though the brand reverted to an Ulster trademark and was used through circa 1960.

    In 1958, The Schrade Walden Cutlery division moved from Walden, NY to Ellenville, NY. for consolidation with Ulster Knife Company after a 1957 fire in the Walden factory. After the consolidation of the two corporations, the parent corporation was named Ulster Knife Co., Inc. Joseph and Louis J. Schrade were still listed as President and Secretary of Schrade Walden Cutlery Corp. at that time, while Albert and Henry Baer were President and Secretary of Ulster Knife Co., Inc.

    Records show that in August of 1973, the name of Ulster Knife Company, Inc. was officially changed to Schrade Cutlery Corporation.

    In 1983, Albert Baer bought the stock of all shareholders in Imperial Knife and became the sole owner of the privately held company. Records show that at the end of December, 1983:

    Imperial Knife Associated Companies Inc.
    Imperial Knife Co., Inc., of Rhode Island
    Schrade Cutlery Corp.
    Imperial International Corp., and
    The Knife Shop Outlet Inc. of New York

    were merged into the Albert M. Baer Corporation of Delaware to become Imperial Schrade Corporation of Delaware.

    You still with me? Good. Hang in there!

    In 1985, The Imperial Knife Associated Companies name was changed to Imperial Schrade Corp., and the company's U.S. operations were combined under one roof in Ellenville, with the exception of the Jackmaster line being made in the Stag Cutlery, LTD., factory in Listowel, Ireland. IKAC purchased the vacant Channelmaster factory in Ellenville.

    In March of 2004, Imperial Stag/Imperial Schrade Europe, a subsidiary of US-based Imperial Schrade Corp., closed the Listowel, County Kerry Ireland factory after 43 years.

    On July 29, 2004, Imperial Schrade announced it was shutting down its Ellenville plant. 260 workers were fired without notice. In October, 2004, all assets of Imperial Schrade were sold at auction including the machinery, materials, finished product, and the trademarks, patents and copyrights. Thus ended the Schrade era.

    Think I covered it all? Nope. 1973, Imperial’s subsidiary in Theirs, France, Durol S.A., completed a new manufacturing plant, and began full production.

    In 1977, Imperial Knife Company also owned owned Richard Bros., LTD., of Sheffield, the British licencee of the Lohr and Steihl patents, and since 1975 of Rogers-Wostenholm. Schrade IXL products were produced at the Morse Street factory until 1982. This American-UK joint venture went bankrupt in 1983. Thus, Schrade-Wostenholm knives were made 1977 to about 1982.

    Dang. I left out their operations in Germany, Canada, and Mexico. Oh...and one more important one quite recently in the news. Camillus. It closed this past month. And it made quite a few knives and components for Imperial Schrade, including...some of the Schrade-Wostenholm IXL knives!:D Albert owned a goodly share of Camillus when he left them in 1940, and complete ownership evolved to the Baer family upon the death of Alfred Kastor in 1963. He maintained an active involvment with the company behind the scenes until his own death in 1997 at age 92, having been in the cutlery business for seventy five years.

    So each of us has to decide for ourselves what constitutes a "SCHRADE". I include the whole family back to 1876 myself.

  3. Larry303


    Jul 28, 2005
    ...."is it a tree with branches and roots?" Codger asks.?.....Have you read Alberts memoirs...there was appearantly quite dedicated heaps of the last and less of the first two.......gave away more than free penknives to those winsome Secretaries.....and he certainly did winsome...Coast to Coast....Hoo Roo.
  4. Larry303


    Jul 28, 2005
    ...or was it a straight stick as you suggest?...........
  5. Codger_64

    Codger_64 Moderator Moderator

    Oct 8, 2004
    ...Kastor and Baer got their start. Henry Bodenheim (1823-1873) was the grandfather of Henry and Albert Baer. The Vicksburg, Missisippi city directory of 1860 lists Bodenheim H. & Co., drygoods merchants, Washington St. West Side. He sold knives, guns, etc. there throughout the American Civil War (War of Northern Agression down here in Dixie), and after the war, in 1865, moved to New York, becoming a partner of Aaron Kastor in Bodenheim, Meyer, and Kastor of New York City, importers of guns, cutlery, and hardware from Belgium, England, and Germany, primarily marketed in the South. Bodenheim was responsible for hiring the German youth, nephew of Aaron Kastor, Adolph Kastor. Henry Bodenheim, Bodenheim, Meyer & Co., 149 Duane and 9 Thomas street, New York was listed in a letter pleading with the Federal government to end the occupation of New Orleans in 1872.The company did not long survive the senior partner's demise in 1876, and Adolph opened his own cutlery import business in New York, A. Kastor and Brothers, eventually in 1902 buying Camillus from Sherwood. Adolph, not forgetting Henry's help, hired sixteen year old Albert Baer in 1922. Thus the branches, and the roots of Schrade and Camillus intertwine again.


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