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USAB2C - Ka-Bar - Manufacturer Details
American Made Knives Made in USA - Ka-Bar - All Purpose Utility Knives, Sporting, Hunting, and Military/ Tactical Knives.
Ka-Bar Ka-Bar
American Made Knives - KA_BAR

How KA-BAR Got Its Name

Soon after its introduction in the mid-1920's, the KA-BAR trademark became widely known and respected. There have been many versions of how the KA-BAR name came to be, but all evidence points to a letter received from a fur trapper. This particular fur trapper's testimonial turned out to be the most significant ever received by the company.

He wrote, in very rough English, that his gun had jammed and that he had therefore relied on his knife to kill a wounded bear that was attacking him. In thanking the company for their quality product the trapper described using his knife to kill the bear. All that was legible of his scrawled writing was "k a bar". The company was so honored by this testimonial that they adopted this phrase and used it as their trademark, KA-BAR.

c1800   The U.S. cutlery industry begins in New England when a group of cutlers from England's famous Sheffield Cutlery Industry ban together in small factories.
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 down.
1912 Operations are in full swing at Union Cutlery Company's new location at 434 North Ninth Street, Olean, New York.
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 knife.
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 name entirely.
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

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