BRADFORD, PA: W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. is coming to the Museum of Appalachia (Norris, TN), Saturday, August 16 from 7 a.m.-3 p.m.
W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company, an American manufacturer of premium quality knives, proudly celebrates 125 years of award-winning hand-craftsmanship, small-town heritage and time-honored tradition. The company’s rich history began in 1889 when the four Case Brothers began fashioning knives and selling them along a wagon trail in Upstate New York. Like each knife manufactured at the Case factory, the 125th landmark is a testament to the hundreds of dedicated artisans who have helped Case knives reach the moon, the White House and into the hearts of famous dignitaries, soldiers and celebrities throughout history. Case’s focus on quality is evident in the 125 pairs of hands that it takes to create just one knife. The company’s commitment to American hand-crafting is part of a work ethic that resonates with the countless hard-working Americans who have made giving Case knives part of a family tradition that spans generations.
“The 125th Anniversary milestone is proof of this company’s resilience and we look forward to celebrating a new era at Case Cutlery with Case collectors, fans and employees,” said John Sullivan, Director of Marketing, W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company. “We’ve prevailed for 125 years, through times where much of the knife industry was in a state of flux. We’re proud to be one of the nation’s leading manufacturers and are fully committed to retaining our brand’s position as the frontrunner in traditional, hand-crafted knives.”
This is Case’s opportunity to give new fans and dedicated members of the Case Collectors Club an unforgettable experience. The 125th Anniversary Celebration will give Club members and guests the chance to greet old friends, meet some new ones, share stories and experiences of Case knife collecting, see lots of Case knives, and maybe even find a few to take home.
Pre-registered participants attending the event are eligible to preregister to receive 1 of just 200 limited-edition Case 125th Anniversary Reunion Commemorative CopperLock® knives.
Other events going on during the Tennessee event:
- Collector Knife Swap
- Grand Collectors Auction
- Case Junior Academy
- Autograph signings
- Bubba Gum Blowing Contest
- Case Knife Sharpening and Polishing
- Knife Appraisals
- Apple Pealing Contest
- Collector Trading
To further this commitment, Case Cutlery’s parent company, Zippo Manufacturing Company, is investing nearly $10 million toward renovating their Bradford, Pa., factory. The renovations, which are currently underway and expected to finish by the end of 2015, include a complete remodeling of the Case Cutlery factory that was originally constructed in 1975, including new equipment and floor configurations that will allow better efficiency, productivity and quality without affecting the hand-craftsmanship that goes into every Case knife. The company’s current location is its third manufacturing facility in Bradford since 1905.
An updated approach to more efficient manufacturing has successfully landed more Case knives into more retail stores. In addition to the more than 2,000 Case Authorized Dealers across the country that regularly carry Case knives, popular outdoor-themed chains like Cabela’s, Bass Pro, Field & Stream, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Tractor Supply Stores, Sportsman’s Warehouse, REI, Academy Sports + Outdoors and Costco are also recognizing the value-added sales that Case knives bring within a small retail footprint. Case knives are also sold online through Case-exclusive e-tailers and on Amazon.com.
Case products range from the classic patterns like the Case Trapper, Stockman, Peanut and Tiny Toothpick that are meant for everyday use to collectables, mint sets and commemoratives that adorn man caves and living room walls across America.
“Zippo acquired W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company in 1993 and we are very proud of what we have been able to achieve in the last 20 years by bringing these two iconic brands together,” said Greg Booth, CEO, Zippo/W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company. “With Case, our current focus is on improving efficiency, which we hope to achieve with this new investment, and drive future innovation and new product development.”
With a refurbished outlook on the future, Case looks towards an increased ability to revive classic styles and create new designs. Case is planning to roll out a World War II V-42 Stiletto reproduction model in 2015, an idea that’s been highly anticipated by America’s servicemen and women as well as Case collectors. Case knives and the American military have gone hand-in-hand for decades, as far back as World War I, when the U.S. government called on Case to make military knives for American servicemen and women. Later, during World War II, Case manufactured the first-ever V-42 Stiletto, issued to the legendary First Special Service Force (1st SSF, aka Devil’s Brigade).
In addition, Case’s future plans include working with leaders from the custom knife market like the legendary Tony Bose, who will help Case launch the 2015 Case collaborative Cattleman’s Knife. Case has worked with Tony and other industry master craftsmen for years to offer fans, collectors and enthusiasts “closest-to-custom” knife designs they might not otherwise be able to obtain.
While new designs for everyday use and traditional favorites for outdoor enthusiasts spur its climbing sales growth, Case’s collectability, seasonal editions and licensing agreements continue to help drive year-over-year growth. Case’s collectability is attributed to the unique tang stamp dating system that was introduced during the company’s infancy. Using this system, today’s collectors can easily identify and ascertain the manufacturing date of almost any Case knife, thereby raising the knives’ intrinsic value. The brand’s popularity is further underscored by the knives it manufactures under licensing agreements with popular American icons such as Harley-Davidson®, Boy Scouts of America®, United States Marine Corps®, Ducks Unlimited®, John Deere™, John Wayne® (Wayne Enterprises) and Matt Hughes.
The Rich History of W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company
- 1886-1930: The Case family pioneered much of the development of early American knife manufacturing and aided in the creation of eleven different knife companies which sprung up in Western New York & Western PA. Some of the more famous names include: Case Brothers Cutlery Co., Cattaraugus Cutlery Co., and Crandall Cutlery Co.
- 1905: Russell Case, founder of W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co., relocates his headquarters and manufacturing from Little Valley, NY to Bradford, PA.
- 1914: Russell Case purchases the now famous Tested XX trademark.
- 1930’s: Case provided throwing knives for Barnum & Bailey circus acts. The ‘Greatest Show on Earth’ first toured America in 1888.
- 1942: Case releases the V-42 Stilleto to the first U.S. Special Forces (aka the Devil’s Brigade).
- 1953: 1961: While in the White House, Dwight D. Eisenhower regularly bought Case knives to give as gifts to dignitaries and friends. Years later, Case presented a custom hunting knife to our nation’s 40th President and Case enthusiast, Ronald Reagan.
- 1965: Case broke through the stratosphere when a Case survival knife accompanied astronauts on the Gemini III mission. The ‘M-1’ design would later accompany astronauts on all Gemini and Apollo missions thereafter.
- 1981: Case forms the Case Collectors Club, the largest association of knife collectors in the world. The Club currently boasts 19,000 members.
- 1993: Zippo Manufacturing Co. purchases W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co.
- 2005: A 1920’s-era Case Congress Knife broke a world auction record for sale of a factory made knife with a winning bid of $14,300 in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee.
For more information on W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery Company, and for a list of retailers, please visit www.wrcase.com.