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"killed a bar!"
Posted by Ken Spielvogel on August 5, 2013 at 12:21
Union Cutlery Co.
Olean, NY 1911-1951
KA-BAR brand 1923-1951
Wallace R. & Emerson Brown
Danforth Brown Manufacturer
KA-BAR Cutlery Co.
Olean, NY 1951-1966
KA-BAR brand since 1951
Danforth Brown d.1956
Cole National Corp.
Cleveland and Solon, OH 1966-present
KA-BAR and KHYBER brands
Manufacturer at Olean, NY 1966-1977
Sold KA-BAR brand to Alcas 1996nother post: a great help
Camillus Cutlery Co., the first manufacturer to supply the Ka-Bar Combat Knife under contract, also produced the largest number of such knives, producing over 1 million examples marked "Camillus.N.Y." on the knife's crossguard before the war ended. Besides Camillus, the Union Cutlery Co., Robeson (ShurEdge) Cutlery Co., and the PAL Cutlery Co. all produced the Ka-Bar knife under military contract during World War II.
The Union Cutlery Company, the first company to manufacture a knife trademarked KA-BAR, was founded in 1897 as the Tidioute Cutlery Co. The Tidioute Cutlery Co. was dissolved and its assets taken over by Wallace R. Brown, who renamed the company Union Razor Co. which shortly thereafter became the Union Cutlery Company in 1909, headquartered in Olean, New York.
After the end of World War II, Utica Cutlery Co., Conetta Cutlery Co., Camillus Cutlery Co., and (beginning around 1980) the Ontario Knife Co. all produced the Ka-Bar under contract for the U.S. military. From approximately 1945-1952, Weske Cutlery Co. of Sandusky, Ohio purchased leftover and overrun parts from wartime Ka-Bar knife contractors and assembled them into knives for commercial sale, polishing out the original manufacturer and military markings, and fitting them with ungrooved leather handles. Though W.R. Case made two prototype Ka-Bar knives as part of a contract submission in 1942-43, no contract was ever awarded to Case for the production of military Ka-Bar Combat/Fighting Utility knives, either during or after World War II. In 1992, Case would release a modern commemorative of these prototypes, the Case XX USMC Fighting Utility Knife. The Case XX USMC Fighting Utility knife is actually manufactured for Case by Ontario Knife Co.
"KA-BAR" was a trademark of one of the four wartime manufacturers, Union Cutlery Co. and had been used on several of their previous knives since 1923. They stamped this trademark on the ricasso of all the Mark 2 knives they produced - and were second only to Camillus in terms of production, producing about 1 million knives during the wartime contract. Marines as early as 1944 began universally referring to their new combat knife as the "KA-BAR", regardless of manufacturer. The popular designation of the knife may also have resulted from contact with Marine Corps close combat instructors in San Diego, who appear to have used the term Ka-Bar when training recruits in the skill of knife fighting.
From 1923 until 1952, KA-BAR remained a legal trademark of Union Cutlery Company. However, in 1952 Union Cutlery renamed itself Ka-Bar Cutlery Inc. in order to capitalize on widespread public recognition of the name and trademark, which had by then become synonymous with the Mark 2 Combat Knife. While the company name changed, Ka-Bar, Inc.'s headquarters are still located in Olean, New York. In 1996, Cutco Corporation, manufacturer of Cutco Cutlery, acquired the company.