Guide to Boker Co Improved Cutlery by jennyyingdi

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Unrivaled Cutlery

             A Guide to H. Boker & Co.
              Improved Cutlery, History
                   with related Brands
                      and Trademarks

                               compiled by
                        Eric L. Rasmussen

        H. Boker & Co.
          Improved Cutlery
Hermann and Robert Boeker* were producing sabers in a Remschied, Germany
plant (1829) near Solingen prior to immigrating to the U.S., where Hermann
established H. Boker & Co. in 1937, importing cutlery, tools and steel. Initially in
New York City, Hermann soon moved his headquarters to Newark, New Jersey.
His brother Robert, opened Casa Roberto Boker, a branch of H. Boker & Co. in
Mexico City (1865).

In 1869, Heinrich Boeker opened the Solingen, Germany plant to manufacture Tree
Brand cutlery. In addition to importing Solingen products, Boker imported Sheffield
cutlery under a variety of trademarks and manufactured their own knives in the
U.S. and Germany. In 1986, all U.S. manufacturing ceased and control of the Boker
name, trademarks and distribution rights were returned to the Solingen plant, Heinr.
Boker GMBH & Co.

                      *The german spelling of the Boeker name was changed to Boker
                       in order for Americans to pronounce it more easily.

                     Boker                         H. Boker & Co. Cutlery
                 Boker U.S.A.
               H. Boker & Co.                         Solingen, Germany
              Improved Cutlery
                                                          H. Boker & Co.
               Henry Boker's                          Solingen, Germany
              Improved Cutlery                             Alemania

                 Henry Boker                     Heinr. Boker GMBH & Co.
                                                    Solingen, Germany

            Arbolito ~ Boker USA ~ Tree Brand
Manufacturing and Import Brands and Trademarks

                Bicycle c1894

                Eclipse c1903

              Edelweiss c1902

             Hardy Bros. c1884

                Hilton c1932

                John Newton

      John Primble (Belknap Hardware)

        Manhattan Cutlery Co. c1868

           New Haven Cutlery Co.

               New West R+C
       (Richards & Connover Hardware)

               Rainbow c1933

           R. J. Roberts Razor Co.

                Razor c1905

              Red Injun c1902

                Regal c1906

      Riverside Cutlery Co. N.Y. c1918

         Trenton Cutlery Co. c1905
        Trenton Cutlery Co. Sheffield

     Valley Forge Cutlery Co. Newark, N. J.
                (straight) c1916
 Valley Forge Cutlery Co. U.S.A. Newark, N. J.

            Whitehead & Hoag Co.
              The W. & H. Co.

         Wright & Wilhelmy c1927
1837 - H. Boker & Co. was founded in         c1910 - H. Boker & Co. made knives
New York City, by Hermann Boeker, as a       marked New West, R+C for the
cutlery import firm.                         Richard & Connover Hardware Co.

1865 - Arbolito, Casa Roberto Boker,         1917 - H. Boker & Co. began using the
established an office in Mexico City.        Boker U.S.A. trademark on cutlery made
                                             in America.
1867 - Boker built a factory in
Solingen, Germany.                           1918 - Knives marked Riverside Cutlery
                                             Co. N. Y. were made by Boker for
1869 - The Tree Brand logo was adopted       Dunham, Harrigan & Hayden, a hardware
and has since been applied to every          wholesale firm in San Francisco.
Boker product.
                                             1921 - Boker sold the Valley Forge plant
1868 - Knives marked for the Manhattan       and moved it's U.S. operations to
Cutlery Co. were imported from               Maplewood, N.J. where both the VF and
Sheffield, England, until 1916.              Boker U.S.A. trademarks were used.

c1884 - Hardy Bros. brand was in use.        1925 - The chestnut tree which inspired
                                             the TREE BRAND, was struck by
c1890 - Boker made knives for the Baker      lightning and burned.
& Hamilton Hardware Co. marked New
Haven Cutlery Co. "Damascus".                c1927 - The Wright & Wilhelmy Co. brand
                                             was in use.
1892 - Boker produced advertising
knives marked The W. & H Co.                 c1932 - The Hilton brand was used.
(Whitehead & Hoag) for this Newark, N.J.
firm until the 1940's.                       1933 - Rainbow knives were made for
                                             Boker in Providence, R.I. (until1954).
c1894 - The Bicycle brand was used.
                                             c1945 - The Heinr. Boker Gmbh & Co.
1899 - Motivated by the increased tariffs    factory in Germany was destroyed in
of the 1890 Tariff Act, Boker purchased      WW2. The Tree Brand logo and Boker
the Valley Forge Cutlery Co. (founded in     brands were confiscated. John Boeker
1892 in Newark, N.J.)                        Jr. arranged their return so he could
                                             distribute products made in the U.S.
c1903 - Eclipse, Edelweiss and Red
InJun (straight razors) were each active.    c1947 - John Primble knives were made
                                             on contract by Boker, Camillus, Utica,
1905 - Boker purchased the R.J. Roberts      and Schrade for the Belknap Hardware
Razor Co. (a wholesale importer founded      Co.until sometime in 1985.
in 1870)
                                             c1950 - Henry Boker, Solingen, Ger.
c1906 - Knives marked for John Newton,       Knives were made for export to Australia
Regal and the Trenton Cutlery Co. were       - trademark HB/2 bird heads.
imported from Sheffield, England.
1952 - J.A. Henkels contracted with          1986 - Cooper Industries sold the U.S.
Boker to make some of their knives,          rights to the Boker name to Heinr. Boker
they contracted with Obertz as well. To      GMBH & Co. of Solingen, Ger. This is
the best of my knowledge this is still in    the same factory that Hermann Boker
effect, since Henkels quit manufacturing     built in 1867.
folding knives in 1960.
                                             Boker knives are currently marketed
1956 - Boker bought the George Schrade       through Boker USA, Inc. 14818 W. 6th
Knife Co. and continued producing            Ave., #17-A, Golden, Co. 80401.
Presto and Commando, switchblade
knives until they were banned by             Boker was the first to introduce folding
Congress in 1958.                            ceramic blades, which are rustproof and
                                             hard as diamond, holding their edge
1969 - Boker was acquired by Wiss (the       indefinitely. Boker has also pioneered
Newark, N.J. sissor manufacturer, which      the use of Titanium handles and
was part of Cooper Industries.)              Damascus steel blades.

              “H. Boker & Co. began marketing Tree Brand knives in 1837.
                    People began to tell stories about them in 1838”

       Boker, The Knives They Tell Stories About
             "Boker Tree Brand knives hold their edge so well, they
             seldom need sharpening.......

             But if yours does, just put it in the glovebox with
             a whetstone and drive five miles down a washboard
             road. If you want a really fine edge, drive ten."

  1869-1900     1900-1924 1924-1935         1935-1947       1947-1974       1974-
                         Jack Knives, Pen Knives & Multiblades

Folding knives come in a wide variety of      MULTI-BLADES are large, sturdy knives
shapes and sizes*, and can be divided         like jack knives and are normally double
into three categories.                        ended like pen knives. They have three
                                              or more blades, and at least one will be a
PEN knives are always double ended            special purpose blade.
and vary in size from 2 7/8 inches to 3
3/4 inches. "Lobsters" and "Whittlers" are    Handle shapes are given specific names
pen knife construction variations.            based on their shape or intended use.
                                              often when combined with certain
JACK knives are plain, sturdy knives          blades, the pattern will have it's own
with one or two blades, usually at one        specific name.
end although thre are a few double
ended patterns. Sizes range from 2 1/2
to 5 1/2 inches.                              *These Illustrations are not to scale

Regular Jack                Sleeveboard      Cattle Knife                      Harness Knife

Coke Bottle                 Balloon Jack Crown Jack                            Fishtail Jack

  Teardrop    Swayback     Curved Jack      Canoe

                            Premium         Premium
Eureka Jack    Gunstock     Stock Knife         Jack

               Wharncliffe                 Serpentine
   Dog Leg     Pen         Farmer's Jack      Whittler

Equal End                                                 Oval or
      Pen             Crown Pen       Senator            Cigar Pen

 Physician's           Sleeveboard   Congress          Swell Center
       Knife           Whittler           Pen          Congress

       Sleeveboard Lobster                Champagne Pattern
                                  Fixed Blade Knives

Fixed blade knives produced by Boker
are of the same high quality and variety
as the folding knives.

Boker was in business during the Bowie
knife craze (c1839 - c1872) and very
likely produced or imported Bowie

Boker is listed in the 1912 Sporting
Goods Trade Directory as a supplier of
hunting knives. They made folding
hunters and imported bowie style
hunting knives under the Manhattan
Cutlery Co. label.

Boker was also amoung the contractors                              H. Boker & Co. Improved Cutlery
that produced the M2 Trench knives                                      Carving knives c1910
(1943 -1944) and U.S. Navy Mark I for the
military in WWII                                                   Blade styles: Spanish Slicer
                                                                                 Turkish Cimeter
Kitchen and butcher knives have also                                             French Slicer
been produced by Boker for years.
                                                  H. BO

       U. S. N.
                                             U.S.A CO.

       MARK 1
                                               ER &

                                                  M3 H
                                                                ER &
       U. S. M3                                                        CO.
                                                                             / U.S
 Straight Razors

          Straight razors evolved from the penny
          knife. Since they serve a single purpose,
          there is only one basic pattern. The
          blade variations are primarily witdth and
          weight, however handle materials and
          decorations vary widely.

          H. Boker & co. produced and imported
          many razors under the Boker name and
          others, such as:

                   Belknap Hardware Co.
                       (John Primble)


                   Manhattan Cutlery Co.

                          Red Injun

             Richard & Connover Hardware Co.
                        (New West)

                   R.J. Roberts Razor Co.

                   Salt Lake Hardware Co.

                     Trenton Razor Co.
                    (Trenton Cutlery Co.)

                   Whitehead & Hoag Co.

                     Wright & Wilhelmy

          Straight razors were mostly out of use
          C1940 because of the introduction of the
          safety razor.

Levine's Guide to Knives and Their Values
 by Bernard Levine

Pocketknives, Markings of Manufacturers and Dealers
 by John Goins

Standard Guide to Razors, Identification and Values
 by Ron Ritchie and Ron Stewart


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