Traditional two blade trapper
Bear & Son Cutlery owns most of American made traditional pocketknife patterns and this issue’s cover demonstrates that there are still new combinations of traditional features that make a new and unique package.
The cover knife is a traditional two blade trapper, so named because of the California clip opening as a long spay blade. The pattern takes its moniker from its popularity among trappers in the early 20th century. In holding with tradition, the knife closed is the standard 4 ½ inches long. An added hail back to tradition is the long nail marks on the blades.
Housed in a collector tin, the knife is one of the few made with genuine abalone handles and Damascus blades. Bear & Son Cutlery is the largest producer of Damascus steel knives in the world.
They use American produced Alabama Damascus. A part of the Bear & Son Cutlery Custom Heritage series it will be made in a limited edition of 250 knives. Each knife comes with nickel-silver bolsters and brass liners, is a serial numbered is assembled with over 90 hand operations. Delivery will be early 2009. Bear & Son Cutlery is the descendant of a knife company started by James F Parker and knife maker Fain Edwards in the 1980s. Originated at first in Jacksonville, Alabama, by Edwards as an operation to manufacture domestic Damascus steel inside an old cotton gin using a six-ton air hammer, Edwards expanded his operation and began making contract knives for Parker Knives in the early 80’s.
He would eventually join in a partnership with James from Parker’s company which became USA with the exit of Edwards. Parker brought in a couple of the top people from Gerber and added Ken Griffey his sales manager from his import company to the team.
Through a variety of deals at the time, Parker had also obtained the Cutlery World chain of retail stores and W R Case & Sons Company.
At a critical time in the business, Parker had bypass surgery and was unable to run the company on a daily basis. Because of this, it suffered repercussions that ended in the failure of the venture. In the ensuing fallout the people managing the Alabama facility- Herman McIntosh. Formed a new company and purchased the factory renaming it Bear MGC knives adding more designs, including multipliers.
Within a few years, Bear MGC had built a newer larger factory in Jacksonville, Alabama and soon sold the company to Swiss Army Knives.
McIntosh and Cook retired with the purchase and Griffey managed the factory for Swiss Army until he eventually bought the company from Swiss Army, bringing in his son Matt and changing the name of the company to Bear & Son.
Throughout its history, Bear & Son has maintained its goal of American-made knives with an extensive line of American produced Damascus steel.
For more information about Bear & Son knives, visit www.bearandsoncutlery.com