Great Eastern Cutlery is releasing another run of their #65 Ben Hogan pattern currently. Go ahead, do a google search for Ben Hogan… you’ll be scrolling for a long time before you come upon anything on the colorful character for whom the Great Eastern Cutlery #65 pattern is named. Unfortunately this unique player in American history has been overshadowed by the golfer, but Great Eastern Cutlery is doing their part to keep his story alive with their #65 pattern that carries Ben Hogan’s name.
Ben Hogan was one of the many larger than life characters involved in the heyday of Pithole. Pithole was one of the major epicenters of the early days of the oil boom in Pennsylvania and is nearby to Titusville, where Great Eastern Cutlery knives are made. The narrative comes down to us mostly from the semi autobiographical “The Life and Adventures of Ben Hogan, The Wickedest Man in the World”. This book details the many (supposed) exploits before and during Hogan’s stay in Pithole. Born in Germany in 1840, Hogan (originally Benedict Hagan) immigrated to New York and immediately began his notorious career by killing a scam artist who had targeted his father. From there he becomes a cabin boy then a blockade runner and even a full fledged pirate. Eventually he hears of Pithole and the oil boom and moves to take advantage of the already raucous environment. He puts on a strong man show, tries his hand at sparring and gymnastic lessons, opens a saloon, and claims to have been part of the notorious French Kate’s brothel business. By no means is this an exhaustive list of his feats and claims to notoriety, and I highly suggest checking out further reading (Explore Clarion Petroleum History). Finally, in a twist worthy of such an exceptional character, Hogan converts to Christianity, goes on an evangelical tour, and runs a soup kitchen in Chicago for the remainder of his life.
I love GEC and the history they bring to the modern market.
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