The Crandall Cutlery Company

The company that eventually became the Crandall Cutlery Company of Bradford, PA, had its start in Little Valley, NY. There is little known of the company started by Ira Clinton Crandall (1823-1904), other than it "moved" to his son, James Etsel Crandall (1850-1917) and then James’ son, Herbert Etsel Crandall (1876-1922), who gave the company its "last" name.

As it turns out, there were several cutlery companies in that same general area (western NY, along the PA border), the largest and most powerful of which was W. R. Case & Sons Cutlery in Bradford.

William Russell Case wanted all the cutlery business of that area, and was quite a "cut-throat" businessman of the time. If he could not buy a competitor outright, he made sure that his children married into the family! Through this method he "acquired" the Platts Cutlery Company, the Crandall Cutlery Company, the Unique Knife Company, and the Robinson Knife Company!

Case’s daughter, Theresa, married Herbert Etsel Crandall, and W.R. Case bought out the Crandall Cutlery Company of 125 Barbour Street, Bradford, PA November 15, 1911.

Original Crandall Cutlery Co. knives are a rare treasure. They frequently come up at auction on the Internet at such places as E-Bay. However, you have to watch carefully to make sure that you’re not bidding on a 1993 repro!

After Wm. Russell Case died, the Case Cutlery Co. ended up in the hands of a Crandall again, Rhea (Crandall) Osborne O’Kain (b ~1900), his granddaughter. There were no male heirs; hence it passed on to her in the mid-50s. She and her husband and her son were in charge until about 1973.

Over the years there were many other businesses bought out by the Case Co., but in 1989 Case was bought out by Smoky Mountain Knife Works of TN. Smoky Mountain sold the company to Zippo of Bradford, PA, and it is Zippo that still owns it.

Crandall Knife Tang Stamp

John Cortland Crandall: "Elder John Crandall of Rhode Island ... "; private; New Woodstock, NY; 1949; pp 224, 429-30, 564.

Giles, James S.: "The First 100 Years (A Pictorial and Historical Review of W.R. Case & Sons Cutlery)"; Smoky Mountain Knife Works; Sevierville, TN; Oct 1989; pp 2, 18, 72.

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