From the Ashes – Case Brothers Cutlery Gets Historic Status
By Edward C. Bell
Little Valley, New York: 109 years after a fire destroyed its factory at 410 Fair Oak Street, Case Brothers Cutlery has been awarded historic status by the William G. Pomeroy Foundation. Celebrating its important place in American knife making history, the red brick home that still stands in Little Valley once served as the Case Brothers offices with a small warehouse to the rear, which thankfully spared some inventory of knives and straight razors from the devastating 1912 fire.
“The knife industry, especially Case Brothers, has been an integral part in shaping our community,” offers Jim Bowen, Mayor of Little Valley. “The Pomeroy Foundation signs are a great way to keep our history alive, and encourage younger generations to explore their own heritage. We are very pleased to have the sign in our village, and excited to continue to preserve our past.”
Case Brothers Cutlery Company manufactured the famous “Tested XX” trademarked knives and straight razors in Little Valley from 1898-1912, but suffered financially after the fire, attempting to rebuild in Springville, New York, until eventually ceding to history in 1915. Prior, selling for their brother-in-law J.B.F. Champlin, the Cases were integral in the creation of what became Cattaraugus Cutlery in 1890. After parting ways, the Cases still resold “cutt-lery” at their homestead in Spring Green, Nebraska, in addition to horses and operating a freight business. Using multiple original manufacturers, including Cattaraugus Cutlery and pocketknives made by other in-laws, the Platts family, Case Brothers Cutlery became a beacon of quality and marketing savvy in the industry.
This article appears in the May 2021 issue. Click the blue button to launch a flipbook of the article.