W. R. Case & Sons History

W. R. Case & Sons History - Hers and His Treasures

One of our passions here at Hers and His Treasures is collecting US made knives. This month we are featuring one of our favorite companies W.R. Case & Sons. So here is little background history.

This companies roots go back to 1889 when the Case brothers William Russell, Jean, John and Andrew Case began selling cutlery from the back of a wagon in small New York villages.

In approximately 1886 the four Case brothers joined with J.B.F. Champlin & Son and formed the Cattaraugus Cutlery Co. Then in 1896 Andrew, Jean and John left Cattaraugus and formed the Case Brothers Cutlery Co. in Little Valley, N.Y. The Case Brothers’ cutlery business was so successful that in 1900, they built their own factory in Little Valley, New York. The brothers’ specialty was hand-forged cutlery made of high-quality products. Desiring to impress their customers with a trademark signifying excellent quality, the brothers began to use the XX mark that is so well known today. Sometime around 1903, J. Russell left Cattaraugus and joined his uncles as a salesman for the Case Brothers Cutlery Co.

 Several years later, W.R. Case & Son Cutlery Co. moved from their Little Valley location to Bradford, PA and merged with C. Platts & Cutlery Co.  The new company became W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery Co. By the time the company moved to Pennsylvania in 1905, the four Case brothers had established their brands. They dominated the knife industry making kitchen, hunting and pocket knives. 

Then in 1911 H.N. Platts left W.R. Case & Sons.  It is also in the same year that a fire destroyed the Case Brother's facility.

In 1929 W.R. Case & Sons outgrew their Bank Street location in Bradford and moved onto Russell Blvd.



 Throughout the years Case changed their tang stamps.  For dating Case pocket knives, here is the tang stamp chart for Case XX folding knives.















In 1972 W.R. Case and Sons sold to American Brands Inc.  In 1980 Case changed their product line marking to lightning SS with the dot system. 

1988 is when American Brands Inc. sold W.R. Case & Sons to James F. Parker out of Chattanooga, TN.  Parker did not keep the company long and in 1990 sold to River Associates in Chattanooga, Tn. 

W.R. Case & Sons is now owned by Zippo Manufacturing Company since June 2, 1993.

 My husband and I are big collector's of the W.R. Case & Sons pocket knives.  We enjoy the history, craftsmanship and of course adding to our own collection.  Please feel free to contact us if you are looking for a specific knife or you can browse what we have available online at www.hersandhistreasures.com

Please feel free to leave us a comment below in our comment section.  Thanks!




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  • Author image
    Margaret Jenstad: November 07, 2023

    I have an old photo from my grandmother’s album, of the Cattaraugus Cutlery Company in Little Valley. My great-gf’s half brother worked there, and was married to Jessie Case, granddaughter of William Russell Case.

  • Author image
    Thomas H. "Tommy" Thompson: October 15, 2018

    I have bought several knives from you in the past. I am very happy with my purchases. The history of these companies is fascinating. I think it would also be interesting to know the history of the different style blades also. Thanks for sharing. I check your site often. Hope to some day be able to drop by your shop. I don’t know what Nov. 2nd. thru the 4th. brings for me but since Sevierville, Tenn. is only 110 miles away I might see you there.

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