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Discussion in 'Traditional Folders and Fixed Blades' started by Pipeman, Dec 7, 2013.
Thats a great looking knife Nate, very interesting colour, super shield. What does the pile side look like?
You should post pics of this knife in the Old knives thread, a sticky at the top of this page.
Super knife, and Welcome to the forum.
Hi Nate (hope thats your name ) It seems likely that both our knives were made by the same company for Case.
The valleys in the jigging on both are red and the swedge is ground into the long narrow nick the same way.
I have this W.R. CASE & SON BRADFORD, PA. Stock man. A ll 3 blades are stamped. Sargent has both the Bradford stamp and the Little Valley stamp dated 1902 to 1905. Barry
I believe the word "singular" is significant as that was the name of the company during the short period the were in Little Valley, NY - (W. R. Case & Son Cutlery Company").
One thing to note while they were called so, part of their trademark said "Established 1847" but that is really the date of birth for W. R. Case and by using his date of birth it made it look like the company was a long established company.
It was towards the end of 1903 that W. R. Case & Sons was formed in Little Valley, NY not long before they relocated to Bradford, Pennsylvania in 1905.
The tang stamps show by Charlie show tang stamps used by W. R. Case & Sons but not W. R. Case & Son in earlier years prior to late 1903. Thanks to Charlie for that chart with hand printed notations.
For those of you that collect or have an interest in Case knives, there's a wonderful book titled "Images of America, W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company by Shirley Boser and John Sullivan. It has a lot of information about Case in the beginning and early years.
Sorry I couldn't be of more help with your particular knife Robin.
Yeah its the prize of my collection I bought it at a collectable shop from a 80 year old man I paid pretty good for it lucky find
Case - The Early Years
The Case family was introduced to knife making when Jobs daughter, Theresa, married a cutlery salesman named John Brown Francis Champlin.
In 1882, Champlin resigned from the cutlery-importing firm of Friedmann and Lauterjung to begin his own business as a knife broker.
In this capacity, he contracted for knives to be made and then sold them under his own brand name. The brand, J. B. F. Champlin, Little Valley, New York was so successful that four of his wifes brothers joined the business in 1866.
When Champlins brothers-in-law, William R. Jean, John D. and Andrew Case, joined his firm, it was renamed Cattaraugus Cutlery Company.
The company continued to do well with Champlin and his son, Tint, directing its manufacturing.
The case brothers employment with Cattaraugus was short lived, but its impact upon their lives not.
When they left in 1887, they took with them the desire to be involved in the cutlery industry.
Entering the Knife Brokerage Business
The first cutlery company to use the family name was Case Brothers Cutlery Company, a brokerage firm also located in Little Valley, New York.
The company owners were Jean, John and Andrew but did not include the brother and former Cattaraugus associate, William R. Case.
The new company contracted with various knife manufactures to make knives and sold them marked with several tang stampings.
Beginning The Manufacture of Knives
The Case Brothers cutlery business was so successful that in 1900, they built their own factory in Little Valley, New York.
Sales responsibility belonged to Jean Case and he apparently was doing an outstanding job because sales continued to increase along with the number of knife models produced.
The brothers specialty was hand-forged cutlery and they were justly proud of the companys high-quality products.
Desiring to impress their customers with a trademark signifying excellent quality, the brothers began to use the XX mark that is so well known today.
Knives of this 1900-1914 period were stamped with the XX mark usually near the middle of the blade but sometimes on the reverse tang. It would also occasionally appear as Tested XX.
Not only did the Case Brothers factory produce high-quality knives, but it also served as a training ground for the familys succeeding generation.
When in 1912, the Little Valley factory burned, relocation to Springville, New York was attempted.
Within a couple of years, the company had failed and in 1914, the famous XX trademark was transferred to the competing family firm of W.R. Case Cutlery Company.
During the tenure of the Case Brothers Company, a large number of tang marks were used.
In the meantime, as Case Brothers Cutlery Company was getting well established, Case family members started a new knife brokerage company.
Dean and Elliot, sons of Jean Case, had been involved in the early years of Case Brothers, but they left that company to start their own business in 1901.
Upon Elliots death in 1903, the business closed and their only trademark used was the company name, Standard Knife Company.
W. R. Case & Son Cutlery The Beginning
As stated earlier, W.R. Case was not involved with his brothers business, but the Case Brothers Company served to train his son.
During the years 1900-1902, John Russell Case had worked for his uncles and earned his indoctrination into the cutlery business.
Through the support and financial assistance of his father, Russ Case founded a knife brokerage firm in Little Valley, New York in 1902.
In an effort to have customers perceive his new business as being well established, he not only used his grandfathers (Job R. Case) picture in the companys advertising, but he also used his fathers name in naming the company W. R. Case & Son.
Russ Case purchased knives for his brokerage business on contract from Platts Brothers Cutlery Co., Cattaraugus Cutlery Co. and others.
Consequently, there were many pattern variations during the 1902-1905 period preceding the establishment of his factory.
They were various tang marks on the contract knives during this period.
W. R. Case & Sons Knife Manufacturers
Russ Case was an excellent salesman and flourishing business encouraged him to move to Bradford, Pennsylvania, and to build a knife factory there.
Another family member, by marriage, would provide the manufacturing expertise needed to complement Cases sales ability.
The husband of Russs sister, Debbie, had come from a family well established in knife making.
So in 1905, H. N. Platts joined with his brother-in-law in combining their operations under one company name.
Since Platts was a son-in-law of W. R. Case, and since Russ Case had established strong brand recognition, the SON in the companys name was simply replaced with SONS, making the new name W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company.
Business was excellent and many new knife patterns were introduced during the 1905-1914 period, but the prestigious XX symbol still belonged to Case Brothers.
With the failure of that company in 1914, W. R. Case & Sons was able to acquire the trademark, one that has been a standby for the company to this day.
Due to his failing health, H. N. Platts left the company in about 1910 and moved to Colorado where he started a new cutlery company called Western Cutlery Company.
At about the same time, Russ Cases other brother-in-law Herbert Crandall merged his Crandall Cutlery Company with W. R. Case & Sons.
Russ Case had no children but for many years his company would remain under the ownership and leadership of family members. When he died in 1953, majority ownership of W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company passed to his niece.
Rhea Crandall was the daughter of Theresa (Case) and Herbert Crandall, Russ Cases early partner.
Rhea was first married to Harold Osborne, to whom she bore a son. After the elder Osbornes death, she married John OKain. OKain led the company as president until his retirement in 1971.
At that time, he became chairman of the board and Rheas son Russell B. Osborne, became the companys president.
If anyone else has a w r case and son little valley ny pocket knife I would really like to see it
I have this W.R. CASE & SON BRADFORD, PA. Stock man. A ll 3 blades are stamped. Sargent has both the Bradford stamp and the Little Valley stamp dated 1902 to 1905. Barry ,,
Ain't that the truth brother ain't that the truth.:thumbup:
Just got this little one at an antique shop, and it's not perfect but I thought for the price,its good for my little collection, doing some research found this post, If im reading right this is the oldest knife in my collection, how old do you guys think it is?