This is followed by a general introduction to pocketknife patterns, blade shapes, handle materials, tang stamps, and that sort of thing.
The main section of over 1100 antique knife illustrations is organized in a manner that should be familiar to knife collectors, as Mr.
The new book begins with a brief history of Simmons Hardware Co.
and a summary of the other brands utilized on the firm's knives, such as Hornet, Laclede, and Oak Leaf (these brands are not represented elsewhere in the book).
BOOK REVIEW reviewed by Knife World Staff Among knife collectors, there's little doubt that the most popular hardware brand of the past is the "Keen Kutter" made famous by Simmons Hardware Company, and later by Shapleigh Hardware Co. Keen Kutter knife collectors have long had access to a catalog reprint or two, as well as dedicated sections in several popular knife price guides, but this new volume on Keen Kutter pocket knives takes everything to a whole new level.
Painstakingly assembled by antique tool authority Alvin Sellens from a large amount of original literature, this will no doubt become the standard reference for Keen Kutter knife fans.
This is a huge auction of some of the hardest to find Winchester & Keen Kutter Tools. Keen Kutter Single Edge Blades, Simmons Razor Blades, Keen Kutter & ECS Keen Kutter Razor Blades, 2 KK Safety Razors (orange & green boxes), 2 ECS Keen Kutter Safety Razors (green box w/logo)3 Straight Razors, Keen Kutter Simmons Hdwe, ivory celluloid, K748, gold logo on blade, Keen Kutter in red on hndl.; K746, Hollow Ground w/ECS KK logo, in gold on blade; #419, The Celebrated Razor Royal Keen Kutter, ornate hndl.
Starts @ noon2-Bill Hooks, w/celluloid Diamond Edge Quality Pledge & Shapleigh Diamond Edge Carpenter Pencil in orig. Carpenter Pencil tube, 2 Blue Grass Carpenter Pencils (new), 2 Pencils w/Shap. of DE String Tags Lot: Keen Kutter Razor Misc.: 5 Boxes of Shap.
By this time, the company was emphasizing its specialty catalogs which focused on areas like lamps, cutlery, padlocks, sewing machines, bicycle parts, baby carriages, sporting goods, and builders hardware. As an adult businessman, he found that pockets knifes, which were easy to store and ship, had a high profit margin.
At one point, Simmons employed more than 600 salesmen. The 1908 catalog, sometimes called "The Encyclopedia of Hardware," was even bigger: 4,200 pages and 78,137 items.
The successful ones, as well as favorite retailers and other long-time employees, would receive small gifts like axe-head pins to acknowledge their exceptional service—the pins also served as walking ads. In spite of its size, this 1908 book was made in huge numbers: 25,000 were printed.
As Saunders Norvall, who spent 30 years working for Simmons, wrote in his book, “Forty Years of Hardware,” “When it was finished to [Simmons’] satisfaction, without any premeditation, he wrote in pencil on the fresh pine wooden axe: Keen Kutter. By designing his own axe to compete with the Lippincott, Simmons introduced the concept of jobber special brands. In 1880, Simmons published one of the first fully illustrated hardware catalogs in the world.
The next day he started out to find a manufacturer who would make his new axe, and he succeeded." That manufacturer was Isaiah Blood of Bollston, New York. At first, Keen Kutter referred to a specific kind of axe, but in the 1880 Simmons catalog, the name had been applied to all of the company’s top-of-the-line cutting tools, including axes, hatchets, saws, scythes, adzes, bill hooks, shears, scissors, files, stones, razors, and knives. The catalog, several of which still exist, was an instant hit with the retailers, each of whom received a free copy.
A great new identification and value guide on Keen Kutter pocketknives, written by a Keen Kutter authority.
Over 1100 illustrations from original catalogs, current values, and additional collector and historical information make this book a must-have for anyone interested in old KK knives - Simmons or Shapleigh eras. Simmons possessed a great appreciation for fine pocket knives, and it's said that a kindred spirit Simmons encountered in his travels provided the basis for the company's slogan: "The Recollection of Quality Remains Long After the Price is Forgotten." Simmons' Keen Kutter line represented that level of quality, and this is a big reason why the knives are so popular today.
Simmons ordered 24,000 of his new axes from Blood, and they sold out quickly. The success of Keen Kutter led Simmons to develop other brands, including Blue Brand, which was second in quality and price to Keen Kutter. Simmons Hardware Company continued to issue a hardware catalog every three to four years.
Simmons was also the first to introduce the concept of traveling salesmen to the hardware jobbing market. The 1899 catalog, which was published on high-quality paper, featured 1,992 pages and 9,759 illustrations, all of which are perfectly legible today.
Satin finished stainless steel clip point blade etched with the Keen Kutter logo, sheepsfoot blade, and spey blade.
Antique Keen Kutter Knife "Antique Smooth Bone Barlow". High carbon steel swedged clip point blade and pen blade. Steel bolsters stamped "KEEN KUTTER" on both sides.