Winchester firearms were long a household name by the end of WWI when they got into the knife making industry.
Winchester aggressively entered the market by buying out other established cutlers and headhunting top knife makers from some of the most innovative producers of the time.
Winchester hired men from Napanoch Knife Company, who had been producing knives since 1901, who brought a number of pocketknife patterns with them to Winchester.
Workers with mass production experience were taken on from Eagle Knife Company and who were responsible for the design of many types of machinery that would be employed in Winchester’s production of knives.
Winchester did not just rely on the previous innovations of other companies and in fact made many advancements in pocketknife design and production themselves.
One example is their attempt to substitute forging blades with blanked and ground, chrome vanadium tool steel to using forged high carbon steel.
After many years of no knife manufacturing, Winchester authorized Blue Grass Cutlery to use their trademark for the production of pocketknives. The production of these knives was contracted to Queen Cutlery, Camillus, and Utica.
Other modern reissues include Winchester-Germany and Winchester-France. While these knives were never released in the US some have found their way to the secondary collectors market.
Winchester has produced exceptionally high quality knives and many are highly valued by today’s collector.
For more knife making history check out these articles