Victorinox and the Swiss Army Knife

Knives Illustrated - - Gear Up -

Hav­ing a rich his­tory be­gin­ning in 1884, the Swiss Army Knife was orig­i­nally de­signed by Karl Elsener and was com­mis­sioned by the Swiss Army as a fold­ing pock­etknife for their sol­diers. It was to be used in open­ing canned food and dis­man­tling the Sch­midt-ru­bin (the Swiss Ser­vice ri­fle). The orig­i­nal knife was called the Model 1890 and in­cluded a blade, reamer, can opener and screw­driver. In 1909 Karl Elsener’s mother passed away—he named the com­pany Vic­to­ria af­ter her. In 1921, when they started us­ing stain­less steel in the con­struc­tion of the Swiss Army Knife, they added “inox”—a short­ened ver­sion of the French word for stain­less steel, mak­ing the full name Victorinox. The rest, as they say, is his­tory.

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