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Topic: Queen Cutlery Company
April 03, 2013
Queen Cutlery Company
John W. Schatt and Charles B. Morgan established the Schatt & Morgan Cutlery
Company in 1895. Initially founded as the “New York Cutlery Company” (not to
be confused with the well known New York Knife Company) the pair opened an
office in New York City sometime in 1896. Some time in 1896 or early in 1897
they moved to Schatts hometown of Gowanda New York, and in July of 1897
they purchased the Platts cutlery plant there. (The Platts family then moved to
Eldred Pennsylvania and on to various associations with the extended Case
family.) The company was housed in Gowanda from 1897 until 1902 at which
time they moved to the Titusville, Pennsylvania factory where they incorporated.
Schatt & Morgan went bankrupt in the late 1920s, and was sold to Queen City
Cutlery in August of 1933 at a sheriffs auction. The five supervisors who had
been fired from Schatt & Morgan back in 1922 were able to return to the place
where they had started. At that time C.B Morgan, former president of Schatt &
Morgan ended up working for the very men he had previously dismissed. Since
Queen Cutlery Company resides in that same Titusville factory to this day, so the
story of Queen Cutlery Company really began with its predecessor, Schatt &
This well-known company was started shortly after World War I as a
“moonlighting operation” of five foremen of the Schatt & Morgan factory. The
story is that each foreman made and appropriated a few extra knife pars before
ending each days work. They then used the parts to assemble their own knives
and sold them under the brand Queen City Cutlery Company. The operation of
the five foremen was officially incorporated as Queen City Cutlery on February 7,
Schatt & Morgans sales were depressed and management recognized that part
of their problem was that the competing sales of Queen Citys knives were made
at their own expense. The disloyal foremen were fired, but the loss of
experienced supervisors created other problems and when the American
economy fell into depression, the companys difficulties grew out of hand. Schatt
& Morgan went out of business around 1931 and the five Queen City founders
pooled their savings to buy the old factory. They moved into it in 1932 and Queen
knives are still made in that same factory, which looks scarcely different when it
did in the early 1900s.
The five men who founded Queen City Cutlery were Frank Foresther (1883-1939), Geza Revitzky (1880-1979), E. Clarence Erickson (1897-1961), Jesse F.
Barker (1895-1970) and Harry L Matthews (1897-1967). Harry Matthews married
Geza Revitzkys daughter and their two sons were active in the business until
1975. Frank Foresthers son, Louis, was also active in the company from 1939
until his death in 1956. Clarence Ericksons daughter Eleanor married Walter Bell
who became president in 1961 when his father-in-law died. Bell was president of
the company in 1969 when it passed out of family hands and was purchased by
Servotronics Corporation. Bell retired in 1972. As of the beginning of 2005,
president of Queen Cutlery Company was Bob Breton. Retired master cutler and
cutlery designer, Fred Sampson, still lives in Titusville and remains helpful in
resolving some of the questions collectors have regarding Queens products over
As members of the original five died, those remaining bought out their interest.
Eventually, only two of the original families were in the business, the Mathews
and the Ericsons. In the 1940s, the company decided to buck the popular
industry trend and make the majority of their knife blades of 440C stainless steel.
The earliest of these knives were stamped Stainless on the tang, buy Queen
soon discovered that consumers would not buy them because they considered
stainless steel an inferior product for pocketknife blades. Consequently, the
company-discontinued use of the stainless stamping about 1950 and adopted
Queen Steel instead, the steel did not change.
In 1969, Queen City was sold to Servotronics, Inc., a manufacture of electronic
components based in Elma, New York. Servotronics also owns Ontario Knife
Company of Franklinville, New York, a company known primarily for fixed blade
military and sporting knives and edged tools, and for its ubiquitous “Old Hickory”
line of kitchen knives.
Queen Cutlery Company Stampings
Initially, the companys knives were stamped Queen City. While some knives
were produced with this marking as late as 1945, the company began to drop the
“City” from their stamps in the early 1930s. At this time, Queen also started using
logos of a “Q” or the word “Queen” surmounted by a regal crown, a trend that
continues even today.
From about 1960 to 1971, the company discontinued stampings of blade tangs in
favor of etching Queen Steel and the knifes pattern number on the master blade.
In 1972, the company again began stamping its knives on the tang and a new
stamping was used: a crown and the word Queen (with the long pointed tail of
the “Q” extending the length of the word). Various configurations of this stamp
were used into the 1980s. In 1984, the companys primary tang stamp was changed to a crowned “Q, with the tail of the Q in the form of a knife. This
marking is still in use today, and has been accompanied with a date stamp since
Queen Cutlery also produces collector-grade knives under the famous Schatt &
Morgan brand, as it has since 1991. Ironically, these knives are produced in the
same factory as the original Schatt & Morgan, and probably using some of the
same equipment. Robeson is another famous old brand occasionally used on
Queen-made pocketknives since 1995. The Robeson name is owned by sister
company Ontario Knife, which acquired Robeson Cutlery Company in 1971.
It would be hard to dispute that any current knife manufacture makes knives
more like the way they were made in the “old days” than Queen Cutlery. Any
knife enthusiast who finds himself or herself in western Pennsylvania will
certainly want to take the opportunity to stop by the old factory on Chestnut
Street, for a walk around the building and a look in the showroom. When you step
through that front door, youll swear that time machines really do exist, in
David Krauss is the author of American Pocketknives: The History of Schatt &
Morgan and Queen Cutlery. His book is available online at:
The following is the live portion of the Chat. Ken Daniels was travelling and Courtney was kind enough to be his typist as he was on the phone with her
Thank you Gus
Ken, what is the official date that you purchased Queen Cutlery
Ken: September the 18th, 2012
Your are welcome
I do know that included Queen and S&M, but Robeson is independant of your company now right?
National Knife Museum
Great Job Gus, I enjoyed that very much
Ken: that is correct Jan.
I see that you are bringing back some of the older patterns, I love the Keystone
i would like to know who had the vision of the medium coke bottle? 8-)
Since you are still using the factory equipment that was set up for those, will we see more of the older patterns?
I think Ontario ismaking kitchen cutlery under the Robeson name these days. Not much else.
National Knife Museum
We have some beautiful older Queen's in the Museum Collection in the Rotation so they are seen regularly
Courtney, I have a PDF of the Queen Cutlery Company , all I need is your email, if you want it.
Ken: The Keystone is going to be a big part of Queen and to start out we will be bringing out two patterns a year and hope to bump that up to four patterns a year.
That would be great Courtney
Any chance you would work with Robeson or Ontario in the Future?
Ken: Sue, Jennie Moore had the idea of the medium coke bottle
Will Queen be continuing to offer the standard product line of knives in amber stag bone and curly zebra wood and D2?
Ken: Jan, in the S&M and Keystone will always be resourced from the older patterns.
Ken: Jan, it has come up in discussions but that is as far as it has got for now.
Ken: Steve, yes to all those lines.
Do you have in mind any new patterns or will you bring back any of the older patterns?
Is the Queen Cutlery Company still using 440C toady?
Gus: my email is firstname.lastname@example.org I would very much like for you to email me that. thank you very much
Ken: Ron, in 2014 we are in discussion bringing back some patterns for the catalog items and adding to it. All of this just takes time and only had control of it for less then 9 months.
yes good changes take time!
Ken: Gus, on some special factory orders at peoples request and on S&M Keystones.
D2 ewmains your main steel?
Courtney, check your email.
any chance a 4 blade camp knife (boy scout knife) is in the works?
Ken: yes, D2 will remain in our primary patterns in catalog. We will continue to use ATS 34 in the bone file and wires. D2 in the stag file and wires.
will Tuna Valley be part of the queen line in the up and coming years?
Ken: Tobias, it has been discussed with the Keystone shield in the future.
Thanks Ken. That would be awesome!
Ken: That remains to be seen if Courtney can put up with me over the continued number of years.
Does Queen still make knives on contract for Moore Maker?
Yes, Ron I think I can do it.
Ken: that is something that can not be discussed under contract.
that was to Steve
I know the Queen "show" this year is still hosted by the Queen Cutlery Colectors Club but will Queen have tours this year?
Ken: yes, just like always. On Thursday before the show opens and I attend on being present as of now.
Will the Queen show come to California this year.
Ken: Gus, not likely.
Guess I have to move east
Ken: Courtney and Ashley will both be in Oregon though next week
Gus, I did receive the PDF thru my email. thank you again sir.
I know this comes from left field... but historically I am interested....Are aware of any connection to European cutlers that immigrated here in the mid/late 1800s that worked or were part of the early start of the company?
for anyone interested, we do have more Queen history INPUT on this site.... ...http://www.iknifecollector.com/forum/topics/general-info-section-knife-world-news-and-special-links-for-input?groupUrl=knifechicks2&groupId=3181080%3AGroup%3A306786&id=3181080%3ATopic%3A550902&page=12#comments
Ken: I am not aware of any.
that's to Alecs
Courtney and Ken, Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us tonight
Ken is there anything you want to share about a vision for the future of Queen
I add my thanks yous too...
National Knife Museum
yes, Thank you
I need about 25-30 knives for my knife club, who should I call ?
Ken: I am extremely pleased with the way the collectors and industry have stepped up and excepted this purchase of Queen. They are wanting this to succeed just as much as I am. So far everything is very positive and have been able to purchase a few pieces of equipment. We have also hired 8 new...
8 new employees to our existing staff.
Ken: Gus, please contact Ryan or Ashley.
Wow good to hear best of luck to Queen
That is simply fantastic Ken
Ken: You are all welcome.
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