There is no city in the world that has enjoyed the reputation of manufacturing the finest cutlery for so many generation than Solingen, Germany.Knives of Solingen, Germany
The city of Solingen was founded in 1374. It has long been an active center for the production of high quality cutlery.
Although they may have changed hands many times several of the knife producers that exist in Solingen today have been around for more than one hundred years.
Hermann and Robert Boeker, for example, began production of sabers in 1829 in nearby Remscheid. By 1830 his firm was producing up to 2000 swords per week and employed more than 100 smiths, grinders and laborers.
Later Hermann Boeker would emigrate to the US and founded H. Boeker & Co. in New York. Robert brought the Boeker company to Canada and Mexico in 1865.
In 1869 Heinrich Boeker moved the short distance to Solingen, Germany which was fast becoming a hot bed for industrial tool production. He founded Heinr. Boeker and Co. which produced shaving blades, scissors and pocket knives. As the overseas demand for pocket knives grew, Heinr. Boeker and Co. began to produce more pocket knives and fewer scissors and razors.
As early as the turn of the century the majority of Boeker knives have been exported to the US and distributed by H. Boker & Co. in New York.
J.A Henckels is another company known for their excellence in manufacturing high quality knives and cutlery. They share a similar long term history in the city of Solingen.
In 1731, Johann Peter Henckels, a knife maker based in Solingen, registered the first version of the twin figure symbol we all associate with Henckels knives. In the 260 years since then the symbol has gone through some design changes.
It is now one of the oldest trademarks in existance. Here is a brief outline of the history of the companies pivitol events provided by the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Co.
“1731: Peter Henckels registers the TWIN trademark with Solingens Cutler’s Guild.
1818: Johann Abraham Henckels opens the Company’s first branch office in Berlin.
1851: The Company exhibits its products at the World exhibition in London where it achieves international recognition and is awarded a medal.
1883: A sales office is set up in New York, followed a few years later by Cologne, Vienna, Hamburg, Dresden, Munich and Paris.
1893: World Exhibition in Chicago. The only medal awarded goes to ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS.
1905: Recognition of another kind: The African explorer Leo Frobenius christens a range of mountains in the then Congo “Zwilling” and another one “Henckels-Berge”.
1915: Four first prizes at the World Exhibition in San Francisco.
1938: The company opens a new chapter with the launch of its multi-purpose scissors, setting new standards in design and quality.
1939: Invention of FRIODUR – a special ice-hardened no-stain steel. This process is patented by J.A. HENCKELS and subsequently all products using this special method are hallmarked accordingly.
1971: A new concept gives fresh stimulus to the market – J.A. HENCKELS knife sets ensure that the right knife is available for every purpose.
1976: International launch of the **** FOUR STAR knife range, meeting the highest quality standards, developed in collaboration with a number of well known German professional chefs.
1981: The Company celebrates its 250th anniversary.
1992: ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS introduces an entirely new process for the production of cutlery – Sintermetal Component Technology (SCT), developed after many years of research.
1995: Market launch of TWINSTAR, a series of knives setting entirely new standards in cutting performance and featuring Magna Dur – special-coated blades which remain permanently sharp without re-sharpening.
In addition to its headquarters in Solingen ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS today has wholly-owned subsidiaries in seven major industrial countries, including the USA and Japan. Products by ZWILLING J.A. HENCKELS are sold in over 100 countries worldwide.”
Linder knives have been made in Germany for more than 100 years. They have been making knives since 1870. Solingen City Archives show that Carl Wilhelm Linder started his workshop in a little hamlet named Bech, now part of Solingen, Germany.
His youngest son, Carl, was born in 1869 and carried on his father’s tradition of fine knife making. In 1903 Carl Linder moved to a larger location, as they had outgrown their tiny workshop.
In 1918 Linder began to export their knives. In 1937, after Carl Linder’s death, the company was sold to Paul Rosenkaimer, a knife maker who had been part of Solingen history for a very long time. He chose to call the company “Carl Liner Nachf.”
In German, the word Nachfolger means “successor,” and the company is still officially known as Carl Linder Nachf.
In March of 1985 Paul Rosenkaimer died and his son Siegfried Rosenkaimer became the proprietor. If you e-mail or call Linder you can still get a friendly response from Siegfried Rosenkaimer or his son Stephan.
Puma knives are a long time favorite of knife users and collectors from around the world.
Puma-Werk was founded in 1769 in Solingen, Germany. At that time Puma used natural hydraulic water power to drive the large circular wet stones which craftsmen used to shape their knives, razors and tools.
A turning point for Puma was the use of the steam engine which greatly improved production. The first steam engine was invented in 1698 but did not reach wide industrial use until the late 1700s/early 1800s.
After the second World War Oswald Frankeberg joined Puma. He was an experienced hunter and initiated a new policy which would set Puma to producing knives for hunting, fishing and outdoor activities. Puma would no longer make household cutlery. Puma consulted hunting experts world wide to develop knives that would be functional, practical tools for outdoor use.
Two of Puma’s most prominant knives are the Universal Jagdtaschenmesser and the famous Great White Hunter developed in 1956.
There are several other knife producers operating from Solingen today including Kissing Cranes, Richartz, Hen and Rooster, Bulldog Brand, German Eye, Hubertus, Herbertz and others. There are also many German knife comapnies that have come and gone.
Article from World of Knives