The roots of the Schrade Cutlery Company precede its founding in 1904. True, that was the year brothers George, William, and Louis Schrade set up shop in Walden, New York, but George had been a student of mechanical objects since the mid-1880s, when he spent 10 years in New York City producing the working models inventors were obliged to submit to the U.S. Patent Office with their creations. In his spare time, Schrade invented a few of devices of own, his most infamous being the switchblade.

At the time, the switchblade did not have the negative connotation it does today—that bad-boy reputation would not stain the knife until the 1950s, when the switchblade was depicted in film and fiction as the weapon of choice for hoodlums and pimps (the knife was banned in the U.S. in 1958, and still remains illegal in many states). Instead, this spring-loaded blade, which would flip open automatically when a button was depressed on the knife’s handle or bolster (the part of the knife that describes the transition from blade to handle) was pitched to consumers as a safety and convenience feature. “Being easily operated with one hand it is far more convenient than the old style pocket knife which necessitates the use of both hands to open and frequently results in broken finger nails,” read one Schrade product description from the early 20th century.

In fact, George Schrade’s first cutlery company, founded in 1893, was called the Press Button Knife Company precisely because it specialized in switchblades. After selling his 1892 patent for this knife to Walden Knife Company in 1903, Schrade moved from New York City to Walden in 1904, when he set up Schrade Cutlery Company with his brothers. By 1906, Schrade had improved upon his switchblade by giving it a locking device, and while his brothers managed the business side of the company, George made machines designed to increase his company’s manufacturing quality and efficiency.

One machine, which cut the shape of a knife-maker’s shield into the outside of a knife’s handle, was used in 1911 by Thomas Turner and Company of Sheffield, England, a historic center of knife-making. The machine, installed by Schrade himself, increased Turner’s production, but the company’s workers protested this intrusion of automation, leading to a strike that forced the machine’s removal.

From England, Schrade and his son journeyed to another knife center, Solingen, Germany, where they produced a switchblade called the Sprenger. The Schrades worked in Germany until World War I, when the German government confiscated their shop’s equipment, which brought them back to the United States, where Schrade introduced numerous improvements to his push-button knife, and gave them names like Flylock and Presto.

Still, switchblades were not Schrade’s only products. The company also made pocket knives for the Boy Scouts and the Navy. One of its most popular knife models continues to be the Old Timer, some of which were sold as fat-handled Barlow knives, while other came in slim Senator designs. As for the handles of these jack knives, they ranged from bone and ebony to mother-of-pearl and celluloid.


Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

The Wheelmen

The Wheelmen

This elegant tribute to turn-of-the-century bicycling includes memorabilia, photographs, and an index of 3140 bicyc… [read review or visit site]

Alloy Artifacts

Alloy Artifacts

A tool collectors’ dream, this site is a deep repository of photos and info on 20th century hand tools and the co… [read review or visit site]

Vintage Machinery

Vintage Machinery

This collective website, which started as an online discussion forum, also includes a large database of manufacture… [read review or visit site]

Drainspotting

Drainspotting

Josh and Cam Larios have created this site enabling people to upload and 'tag' photos of historic or artistic manho… [read review or visit site]

A Millers Falls Home Page

A Millers Falls Home Page

Randy Roeder has carved out a niche for himself with his fine website devoted to the history of the Millers Falls C… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Other Great Reference Sites

Most watched eBay auctions    

Vintage~schrade 152~old Timer~razor Sharp Hunting & Fishing Knife W/orig. SheathSchrade Usa 8 Custom Hunter Loveless Style Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife Mint!Schrade Usa 8 Custom Hunter Loveless Style Full Tang Fixed Blade Knife Mint!Super Rare Schrade Knife Old Timer Vintage Collectors 96ot Derlin Handles UsaGeorge Schrade Presto Pat. 30-40 Pocket Knife Huge Lot Of Vintage Pocket Bowie Fish Knives- Winchester Schrade Imperial UticaVintage 1993 Schrade "scrimshaw" Great American Outdoors 7 Knife SetVintage Schrade Usa 165 Old Timer Woodsman Hunting Skinning Bowie Knife KnivesVintage Schrade Usa 194ot Old Timer Locking Slimline Trapper Knife Knives PocketVintage Rare Schrade Usa Du8 Ducks Unlimited Lb8 Folding Lockback Knife MibCopenhagen Snuff Gift Set-schrade Pocket Knife & Money Clip In Nice Oak Box Vintage Schrade 127uh Knife Uncle Henry Cir-1970's Serial #046391 W/ Sheath•niceVintage Schrade Old Timer Usa 152 Hunting KnifeSchrade Usa 14ot Old Timer Fixed Blade Hunting KnifeSchrade Made In Usa 3ot Bearhead 3" Lockback Lock Blade Knife Mint In BoxVtg. Schrade Walden 147 Fixed Blade Hunting Knife With Sheath 8 1/2". UsaVintage Schrade Presto Folding Pocket KnifeTwo 1980 Usa Schrade Uncle Henry North Carolina Limited Edition Knives Gift SetVintage Old Timer Schrade Walden 410t Knife & Case Estate FindSchrade Made In Usa Scrimshaw 5-1/4" Sc500 Linerlock Folding Hunter Knife Schrade Walden Ny Usa Made Ss825 3-5/8" Stockman Knife Schrade Made In Usa 8ot 4" Senior 3 Blade Serpentine Stockman Knife 46 Assorted Pocket Knives, Case, Schrade, Buck, Boker, Winchester, ImperialOriginal Schrade Made In Usa 123ot Pioneer 4" Folding Hunter Knife & Sheath Schrade Walden Ny Usa 171uh Uncle Henry #13231 Hunting Knife W/ Sheath/stoneVintage Schrade Walden Usa 225h Folding Hunter 2 Blade Knife Original Schrade Usa Made Sc508 5-3/8" Scrimshaw 2 Blade Folding Hunter Knife Schrade 197uh Knife Uncle Henry Cool Odd Press Lock Vintage Staglon Handles UsaSchrade Uncle Henry Usa 807uh 3 Blade Folding Pocket Knife (66488) Original Schrade Made In Usa 7ot 5" Cave Bear Lockback Lock Blade KnifeVintage Schrade U.s.a. Old Timer 165 Hunting Knife Schrade Cut Co Jack With Blueberry & Cream Composition Handles *no Reserve*Schrade Usa Old Timer 152ot Sharpfinger 7-1/4" Fixed Blade Sheath KnifeOdd Vintage Schrade Walden Ny Usa 8ot Old Timer Stockman Folding Knife Knives EcSchrade Uncle Henry Stagalon Filet Knife Uh167uh Knife - Made In Usa - CompleteVintage Boker Usa Girl Scouts Spoon Fork Knife Scout Camping Set Schrade Walden N.y. Usa Brown Jigged Delrin Trapper Knife Nr #293Schrade Uncle Henry Usa Made 124uh Tradesman Folding Hunting Knife Heavy Duty Schrade Hunter 130t, High Carbon Steel W/custom SheathSchrade Usa Old Timer 158ot Gut Hook Skinner 7-5/8" Fixed Blade Sheath Knife A+Schrade Ny Usa 293y Trapper Knife Unused In BoxRare Schrade Vintage Knife Sterling Silver Insert Collectors Knives Made In UsaBeautiful! Schrade Folding/pocket Knife: Uncle Henry Lb-4 Mint In Box W/papersRare Old Vintage Schrade Walden Usa #781 Pen Folding Pocket KnifeSchrade Uncle Henry Usa 227uh 5-3/8" Folding Bowie Hunter 2 Blade Sheath KnifeVintage 1978 Schrade Scrimshaw Sc-500 Buffalo Folding Hunter KnifeSchrade Made In Usa Ducks Unlimited Du 4-1/4" 2 Blade Trapper Ltd Knife Mint Lot Of 2 Vintage Schrade 153uh Knife Golden Spike Stag Hunting One Belt Holster Schrade Old Timer Usa 30t Single Lock Back Knife (66844) Schrade Walden 293 3 7/8" Trapper Pocket Knife Bone Handles Schrade Usa Disc. Scrimshaw ''texas Longhorn'' Stockman Knife With Case RareSchrade Usa Knives, Schrade Uncle Henry 885uh Stockman Pocket Knife, Old StockVintage Schrade 206 Granddad's Barlow 2 Blade Pocket KnifeSchrade Usa #197uh Uncle Henry Cat Paw Liner Lockblade Pocket Knife Schrade+ Usa 515sc Scrimshaw 5ot Size Lock Back Knife Made In The UsaSchrade Walden N.y. U.s.a. - "powell River Alberi" Rope KnifeGroup Of 7 Schrade Old Timer Knife Boxes OnlySchrade Cutlery 8ot Vintage Folding Blade Knife 37Schrade 152 Ot Usa Made Old Timer Sharpfinger Hunting KnifeUsa Schrade Simon Ss1 Kiss Framelock 0623