History of Camillus Knives

The Camillus Cutlery Company was founded in 1873 and began business by producing knives during World War I and II. The company's founder, Adolph Kastor, was a German immigrant who moved to New York in 1870 to work for his uncle in his hardware supply business. He was put in charge of cow chains originally, and then later moved into their firearms and cutlery divisions. In September of 1876, the company closed. However, this didn't blunt Kastor's success as he opened his own business just one month later called 'Adolph Kastor & Bros'. The company imported and distributed German-made knives.

In 1902, Kastor purchased a quaint knife manufacturer in Camillus, New York, and took control from them owner Charles Sherwood. By 1910, the Camillus Cutlery Company had about 200 employees and were producing close to a million camillus knives a year. They even went so far as to provide housing for their German workers.

During World War I, the company began to provide support for the American, British, Canadian and Dutch forces, producing products such as marlinspikes, scalpels and eating utensils. In 1920, the company began using stainless steel. They also started making collectible knives, honoring people such as George Washington, Babe Ruth, and Buck Rogers. In World War II, the company shipped 15 million camillus knives to allied forces which included machetes, electrician's knives and sailor's marlin spikes. Shortly after, they also began to manufacture a line of folding knives for the Boy Scouts of America.

Recently in 2006, the company filed for bankruptcy, noting overseas competition had become too much to handle. They officially closed the doors on February 28, 2007.

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