following events define the Kabar Knife Corporation's History
within the Knife Industry.
Late 1800's A group of cutlers settles in the Western
New York and Northern Pennsylvania area.
April 29, 1897 As an association to the Secretary
of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania a group of 38 men apply
to form a Limited Partnership whose purpose is to manufacture
and sell cutlery. The formation of this Limited Partnership,
known as Tidioute Cutlery Company, is now widely considered
to be the beginnings of Ka-Bar's history.
1898 The first cutlery items are produced and sold
by Tidioute Cutlery Company.
c1900 Experiencing financial difficulties, the Tidioute
Cutlery Company was dissolved.
January 1902 Mr. Wallace R. Brown purchases the assets
of the Tidioute Cutlery Company.
March 1902 A new association headed by Mr. Brown
applies to the Governor of Pennsylvania to form a corporation,
to be known as the Union Razor Company, for the purpose
of manufacturing and selling cutlery.
April 1902 The new Pennsylvania company is in full
operation with Brown serving as Chairman and CEO.
January 25, 1909 The company name is changed from
Union Razor Company to Union Cutlery Company in order to
more accurately reflect the products manufactured.
1910 The City of Olean, New York, approaches Wallace
Brown and the company's Directors and proposes the relocation
of the company to their city.
December 1911 A new, State of New York, corporation
is registered as the Union Cutlery Company, Olean, New York,
creating two Union Cutlery Company incorporations: the original
in Tidioute, Pennsylvania and the one set up by Wallace
Brown in Olean, New York. With the Olean facility operating
successfully, the Tidioute, Pennsylvania plant is closed
1912 Operations are in full swing at Union Cutlery
Company's new location at 434 North Ninth Street, Olean,
1920's Transition period of mixed markings which embellished
the blades and handles of the older Union Razor knives and
newer model Union Cutlery knives. During this period trademarks
like OLCUT, KEENWELL, and the now famous, KABAR are adopted.
1924 Wallace Brown falls ill and dies. His brother,
Emerson Brown, is quick to assume the role of authority
at the company.
1931 Emerson Brown, President until his death, is
superseded by his nephew, Danforth Brown, son of the original
Chairman and CEO, Wallace R. Brown.
c 1942 Soon after the start of World War II, the
Union Cutlery Company submits a Ka-Bar branded knife to
the U.S. Marine Corps for issue to fighting personnel.
1945 Although the original design presented was not
up to par, the Marine Corps accepts a reworked design of
the knife and begins issuing it as their standard fighting/utility
1952 Due to its role in the War, the Ka-Bar name
had achieved such a high level of fame that Danforth Brown
and the directors of the company decide to change the corporate
name to Ka-Bar Cutlery, Inc., dropping the Union Cutlery
1954 An unsuccessful attempt is made to transfer
the manufacturing operations of KA-BAR Cutlery, Inc., from
New York to Dawsonville, Georgia.
1955 The company is regrouped back in Olean at its
original factory site.
March 1960 Danforth Brown dies. Subsequently, the
company changes hands several times.
1961 The Brown family sells Ka-Bar to two Olean businessmen
who in turn sell it to a group of business entrepreneurs
that lead the company into Chapter 11. Attempts to reorganize
fail and the company is forced into liquidation. With intentions
of reestablishing the business, Robinson Knife Company purchases
the assets of the company.
1966 Robinson Knife Company sells the Ka-Bar operations
to Cole National Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio.
1975 As a part of its efforts to revive the company,
Ka-Bar establishes a special Collectors' Division. Its purpose
is to produce significant and commemorative knives, to recreate
famous antique Ka-Bar knives and actively support the development
and enjoyment of knife collecting in general.
1976 The first knife is produced by the newly formed
Collectors Club: a full dress version of the USMC Fighting/Utility
knife, produced in limited number.
1977 The USMC Commemorative was so enthusiastically
received that the company returns the knife, in its standard
issue form, to regular production.
1982 Cole National Corporation falls into a period
of business difficulty that puts the company into bankruptcy.
During liquidation the Ka-Bar product line is purchased
by American Consumer Products and moved to Solon, Ohio.
May 1996 The Ka-Bar product line and assets are sold
to Alcas Corporation of Olean, New York.
June 6, 1996 The acquired assets of Ka-Bar are relocated
to Alcas Corporation's Olean headquarters.
Late 1997 KA-BAR Knives, Inc. dramatically enhances
its national product distribution with the addition of five
manufacturing representative firms whose territory spans
the entire United States.
1998 KA-BAR celebrates its 100th year of business.
2003 KA-BAR moves to its current location, 200 Homer
Street, Olean, NY.