Case came out with a new series close to heart for them: the Family Brand series. The factory has been around for a long time and, due to that, its seen a fair share of different names and brands under its roof, like branches in a family tree, if you will. You could write a book on all the history of the plant—and a few have—but here we really wanted to just touch on what the names represented in this series, give an idea to people what their significance is.
The first knife company to technically fall under the Case namesake was Case Brothers Cutlery Company, but, and here’s where the issue gets a bit muddled, they did a lot of business via purchasing from C. Platts & Sons Cutlery Co., an established knife production company. More on them in a moment, I promise. Anyway, Case Brothers were competitors with another knife company, Cattaraugus Cutlery, a company where a J. Russell Case worked at.
Russell left Cattaraugus and worked for his uncles at Case Brothers as a grinder in the wintertime and showed an exceptionally keen eye in regards to the heat treatment of the knives. During the springtime he was a salesman, taking the knives that were made during the winter and s3elling them as far as the wagon her rode would take him. There came a rift between J. Russell Case and his uncles and that divided them enough that J Russell left to form his own knife company and, wanting to make the company appear to have an established image, called it after his father, naming it W.R. Case & Son Cutlery Company and used the image of his grandfather, Job Case.
Now, the Platts & Sons Cutlery Co. joined J.R.’s company though marriage as Harvey Platts married Debbie Case, J. Russell’s sister. After a few years, Platts merged with W.R. Case & Sons and set up shop in a new building in Pennsylvania. Then, in 1911, Case Brothers Cutlery was destroyed by a fire. W.R. Case & Son bought the rights to the XX trademark from them. In addition, in 1911 Crandall Cutlery, a company well-known for its impressive product and great production rate, was bought and absorbed into the W.R. Case namesake.
The need for more high-quality production knives brought J.R. Case to several cutlery companies. One of note, Kinfolks INC, which he invested in alongside “Tint” Champlin, a cousin of J.R’s. Knives made at Kinfolks, and that included Standard Knife Company brand, were sold by Case in Bradford. One more note is that that was the second Standard Knife Company. The original Standard was founded by Dean and Elliott Case over twenty years prior and served as a jobber or wholesale knife company for a few years.
So, as you can see in this abridged explanation, the companies were more than just joint ventures that eventually became the W.R. Case we know today, there were a lot of blood ties on top of the company connections, and that’s why there’s a special importance to the upcoming Family Brands series; they’re more than bolster engravings of logos. They’re paraphrased history with every brand name on them.
If you’re interested in the knives, please feel free to take a look here.