Officer’s Knife

Karl Elsener, 1897

  1. The Swiss Army knife is legendary. Astronauts have used the knife to conduct makeshift repairs aboard the Space Shuttle. Doctors have used the knife to perform emergency amputations. Mountaineers have used the knife to dig their way out of avalanches. Skydivers have used the knife to cut themselves free of snarled parachutes. And no less than MacGyver himself (popular 1980s television character who used brain over brawn to fight crime and help the helpless) used the knife as his tool of choice to solve all manner of seemingly intractable problems. This success story, however, had an inauspicious beginning. In 1891, Karl Elsener and a number of fellow craftsmen founded the Swiss Cutlers Association to compete ...

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