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I'm trying to find out relative value on a 1920's Keen Kutter/Winchester 5.25" Swell Center/Coke Bottle Jack.  Ebony scales. Light tang stamp but is E. C. Simmons Keen Kutter  St. Louis, Mo.  Thanks for any help. JC

 

If you take a look at current eBay listings John, although not finding the exact knife value ranges from $80-100 dollars depending on condition. Here is a link to the search: http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?adpos=2o3&MT_ID=71&crlp=1929...{ADGRP_ID}&crdt=0&_nkw=e+c+simmons+keen&rt=nc

Here is some info I found earlier on a Keen Kutter I bought.

Edward Campbell Simmons (1839-1920) was a hardware tycoon whose business also handled knives and hatchets. He started by using traveling salesmen and a 5000 page catalog. Keen Kutter was his top of the line product. He began by having his knives manufactured by Walden Knife Company. He was so impressed with their workmanship that he purchased the company in 1879 and made it into the largest U.S. knife company. It was common in the late 19th and early 20th  centuries for hardware companies to market their own brand of knives. Cutlery became a major part of his hardware business because knives were small to handle and very profitable.

EC Simmons had a motto- "The recollection of quality remains long after the price is forgotten." Shortly after Simmons' death in 1920 his sons sold the concern to Winchester. They in turn converted empty factory space into a cutlery production facility. Winchester then added Walden Knife Company to their holdings among others. Winchester-Simmons open a nationwide chain of hardware stores to capture 25% of the hardware business in the U.S..

Simmons Hardware went bankrupt in 1939 but Shapleigh Hardware (Diamond Edge) picked up the trademarks and produced Keen Kutter Knives into the 1960's.

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