Question about Union Cutlery Co.

Ask knife related questions here. Please answer some if you are an experienced collector!
User avatar
Railsplitter
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 964
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:43 pm
Location: Springfield, Illinois

Question about Union Cutlery Co.

Postby Railsplitter » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:11 pm

I'm considering the purchase of a knife with the Union Cutlery Co. tang stamp and I'm trying to figure out the date range that it was made. Early 20th century is about all I'm coming up with but I would like more specific dates if possible.

I did some research and discovered that Union Cutlery was the result of a buyout of the Tidioute Cutlery Co.

My question: When did Union Cutlery begin making knives and when did they stop making knives? I'm also wondering if the tang stamp would help pinpoint a more specific date range but I don't own the knife yet and cannot provide a photo.

Thanks.
Rick T.

User avatar
RalphAlsip
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 1512
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:01 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Question about Union Cutlery Co.

Postby RalphAlsip » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:39 pm

Rick, I don't have any tang stamp pictures handy, but the text below might be useful.

KA-BAR Knives and dating them

1898-Tideoute Cutlery Co. formed in Tiedoute, PA

1902-Factory purchased by Wallace Brown, Started in Tideoute, PA as Union Razor Company

Union Razor Company, Tideoute mark used 1902-1909 (Equivalent in Case language--Case Brothers, W. R. Case &SON)

Union Cutlery Co. Tideoute marked knives were only made 1898-to approx. 1912. (Equivalent in Case language--Case Brothers, W. R. Case & Sons)

Union Cutlery Co. with North American outline 1912-1923 (Equivalent in Case language: W. R. Case & Sons, Case Bradford PA)

Union Cutlery Co. Olean, NY 1912 first used.

OLCUT, and Keenwell also used first in the 20's.

After 1923--KA-BAR on main blade, and Union Cutlery Co. Olean, NY on either the back of the blade if a single blade, or on one of the smaller blades. These will be referred the Union mark. If I state the Union mark it means the blade will be stamped "Union Cutlery Co. Olean, NY" (Equivalent in Case Language: Case Tested)

After 1952 Union Cutlery Co. is no longer marked on the knives. (Equivalent in Case Language: XX and USA)

Kabar, USA was changed to in 1951

In the 70's a pattern number was added between the Kabar and the USA. (Equivalent in Case language: Case dots)

User avatar
Railsplitter
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 964
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:43 pm
Location: Springfield, Illinois

Re: Question about Union Cutlery Co.

Postby Railsplitter » Sun Mar 11, 2018 8:54 pm

RalphAlsip wrote:Rick, I don't have any tang stamp pictures handy, but the text below might be useful.

KA-BAR Knives and dating them

1898-Tideoute Cutlery Co. formed in Tiedoute, PA

1902-Factory purchased by Wallace Brown, Started in Tideoute, PA as Union Razor Company

Union Razor Company, Tideoute mark used 1902-1909 (Equivalent in Case language--Case Brothers, W. R. Case &SON)

Union Cutlery Co. Tideoute marked knives were only made 1898-to approx. 1912. (Equivalent in Case language--Case Brothers, W. R. Case & Sons)

Union Cutlery Co. with North American outline 1912-1923 (Equivalent in Case language: W. R. Case & Sons, Case Bradford PA)

Union Cutlery Co. Olean, NY 1912 first used.

OLCUT, and Keenwell also used first in the 20's.

After 1923--KA-BAR on main blade, and Union Cutlery Co. Olean, NY on either the back of the blade if a single blade, or on one of the smaller blades. These will be referred the Union mark. If I state the Union mark it means the blade will be stamped "Union Cutlery Co. Olean, NY" (Equivalent in Case Language: Case Tested)

After 1952 Union Cutlery Co. is no longer marked on the knives. (Equivalent in Case Language: XX and USA)

Kabar, USA was changed to in 1951

In the 70's a pattern number was added between the Kabar and the USA. (Equivalent in Case language: Case dots)


Thank you for your help Sir. I don't remember your name but I remember it's not Ralph. :oops:

The tang stamp on the knife in question has "UNION" in an arch shape at the top. Then "KNIFEWORKS" in the middle and "N.Y.C." on the bottom. Possibly 1912-1952 manufacture if that stamp is legit.

Is it just me or is it odd that the tang is stamped "N.Y.C." instead of "Olean, NY"? Was Union Cutlery ever located in New York City? ::hmm::
Rick T.

User avatar
RalphAlsip
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 1512
Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:01 pm
Location: Texas

Re: Question about Union Cutlery Co.

Postby RalphAlsip » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:28 pm

You are most welcome. I'm fine with being called Ralph. I'm a novice Union collector in terms of knowledge, but I really like the old knives they are very well made (IMO). Here is an arch stamped Union that I managed to run across. Maybe peanut740, btrwtr, ea42, or lt will see this and be able to share their knowledge.
Attachments
Union CutCo Doghead Lever Lock Rogers Bone Arched Mark.jpg
Union CutCo Doghead Lever Lock Rogers Bone #3 small.jpg

User avatar
Railsplitter
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 964
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:43 pm
Location: Springfield, Illinois

Re: Question about Union Cutlery Co.

Postby Railsplitter » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:34 pm

Thank you, Ralph.

I don't want to post the seller's pictures or a link here for fear that somebody might buy the knife before I do. However, if someone might be able to help after having a look at the knife I would be happy to PM them a link to the seller's pictures.
Rick T.

Gunsil
Posts: 521
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:25 pm
Location: Lower Hudson River valley, N.Y.

Re: Question about Union Cutlery Co.

Postby Gunsil » Sun Mar 11, 2018 9:56 pm

Union Knife Works is not to be confused with Union Cutlery Co, they were not related firms. Union Knife Works was a Platts venture in Union, N.Y. and they are marked NYC because that is where their sales offices were. Union Knife Works is a fairly rare mark as the company was only in business for a short time, Goins says 1911-1913. They are also quality knives as were most made by the Platts family.

User avatar
Railsplitter
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 964
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:43 pm
Location: Springfield, Illinois

Re: Question about Union Cutlery Co.

Postby Railsplitter » Sun Mar 11, 2018 10:30 pm

Gunsil wrote:Union Knife Works is not to be confused with Union Cutlery Co, they were not related firms. Union Knife Works was a Platts venture in Union, N.Y. and they are marked NYC because that is where their sales offices were. Union Knife Works is a fairly rare mark as the company was only in business for a short time, Goins says 1911-1913. They are also quality knives as were most made by the Platts family.


Thank you, Gunsil! I was definitely thinking they were one and the same. That sheds a whole new light on things. Much appreciated!
Rick T.

User avatar
Mumbleypeg
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 4279
Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:28 am
Location: Republic of Texas

Re: Question about Union Cutlery Co.

Postby Mumbleypeg » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:12 pm

Wallace and his brother Emerson Brown owned Brown Brothers Mfg. Co., and Brown Brothers Knife Co. in Little Valley, N. Y.

They bought out Tidioute Cutlery and started Union Razor Co. in Tidioute, c1902.

Which became Union Cutlery Co. c1909. They subsequently moved it to Olean, N.Y. c1911.

As Jerry said, use of the Kabar brand came in 1951.

Wallace and Emerson Brown were grandsons of Job Case. Yet another of the many Case family connections to American cutlery history.

Ken
Member AKTI, TSRA, NRA.

"Man has nothing that the animals have not at least a vestige of, the animals have nothing that the man does not in some degree share."
- Ernest Thompson Seton
https://www.akti.org/

Gunsil
Posts: 521
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:25 pm
Location: Lower Hudson River valley, N.Y.

Re: Question about Union Cutlery Co.

Postby Gunsil » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:46 pm

Just to set things straight regarding Union Cut/KA-BAR. The famous KA-BAR brand began in 1923. The Union Cut mark on KA-BAR knives was discontinued on most knives by around 1942-43 and the knives will still have KA-BAR in caps but over Olean, NY. Around 1947-48 the mark changed again to KA-BAR caps over USA and in 1952 it changed again to Kabar, italicized letters with no hyphen. Model numbers were added to the blades when Cole National bought KA-BAR Cutlery Co in 1966 and the mark was still Kabar lower case italicized letters. The KA-BAR stamp chart on this site and the one put out by the old KA-BAR Collector's Club has many many errors in it. The Queen made KA-BAR Club knives will sometimes have a Union Cut mark on them but they are not the same quality as the original Union Cut knives and are easy to tell the difference on. The quality of the knives also declined when KA-BAR/Union Cut went into military production mode and the stamp changed to KA-BAR over Olean, NY. The military knives were of excellent quality but the civilian hunting and pocket knife quality definitely declined in this era.

Regardless, the OP knife was made in Union, NY by Union Knife Works which was not in any way related to the Union Cutlery Co. in Olean, NY. Union Knife works was a shirt lived company started and run by Platts family members.

Gunsil
Posts: 521
Joined: Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:25 pm
Location: Lower Hudson River valley, N.Y.

Re: Question about Union Cutlery Co.

Postby Gunsil » Sun Mar 11, 2018 11:51 pm

Railsplitter wrote:
Gunsil wrote:Union Knife Works is not to be confused with Union Cutlery Co, they were not related firms. Union Knife Works was a Platts venture in Union, N.Y. and they are marked NYC because that is where their sales offices were. Union Knife Works is a fairly rare mark as the company was only in business for a short time, Goins says 1911-1913. They are also quality knives as were most made by the Platts family.


Thank you, Gunsil! I was definitely thinking they were one and the same. That sheds a whole new light on things. Much appreciated!


You're welcome!! Some of their larger knives had UNION stamped deep out on the blade and I think these are really cool. I like all Union marked knives, and the ones from Union Knife Works are fairly hard to find and are treasured by those who collect knives made in NY state.

User avatar
Railsplitter
Gold Tier
Gold Tier
Posts: 964
Joined: Wed Oct 17, 2007 10:43 pm
Location: Springfield, Illinois

Re: Question about Union Cutlery Co.

Postby Railsplitter » Mon Mar 12, 2018 12:44 am

Gunsil wrote:
Railsplitter wrote:
Gunsil wrote:Union Knife Works is not to be confused with Union Cutlery Co, they were not related firms. Union Knife Works was a Platts venture in Union, N.Y. and they are marked NYC because that is where their sales offices were. Union Knife Works is a fairly rare mark as the company was only in business for a short time, Goins says 1911-1913. They are also quality knives as were most made by the Platts family.


Thank you, Gunsil! I was definitely thinking they were one and the same. That sheds a whole new light on things. Much appreciated!


You're welcome!! Some of their larger knives had UNION stamped deep out on the blade and I think these are really cool. I like all Union marked knives, and the ones from Union Knife Works are fairly hard to find and are treasured by those who collect knives made in NY state.


Awesome! Just totally awesome! I'm glad I came here to ask even though I had the name of the company confused.
Rick T.


Return to “Knife Related Q&A”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: sixsouthwest and 29 guests