I have had the below pictured 2 blade Aluminum, ladies size No 3185 2-3/8" closed Maher & Grosh Artistic knife since the late 80s. I believe I obtained it at the monthly Burbank Ca. swap meet. Most likely for a couple dollars.
It has been in my display case among my other "Art Nouveau" handled knives that date between c1890-1910.
I have always been interested in Maher & Grosh knives and their history. This Aluminum handled knife is the only older Maher & Grosh I possess, not that I have not been looking for Maher & Grosh knives for years, they have just been allusive to me. Of course, many Maher & Grosh knives and related material show up on eBay occasionally, but I prefer the "Thrill of the hunt."
The funny thing is, I did not even know it was a Maher & Grosh until last week. I will explain:
I am in the process of adding a 6th glass shelf in my cabinet to accommodate my growing knife collection. This shelf addition has also given me the opportunity to clean and lubricate my existing knives. As I came to my Artistic handled aluminum knife and opened the blades I realized that I could not see the manufacturer name on the tang, only very little was visible even with the help of my loop. I thought this was quite odd, that is, I always inspect and become very aware of who, what and where my knives were made by. So, out came my oil and super fine OOOO steel wool, a few minutes later I peeked through my loop again and observed "Maher" I said to myself "WHAT? WHAT? Must be Maher & Grosh!" as my curiosity turned into determination, I continued to push my Carpal Tunneled hands to their limit to uncover the whole inscription. Suddenly it appeared: "Maher & Grosh" on both blades, but there was something else:
Yes, Germany. I have never seen nor read about any Maher & Grosh knife with "Germany" on its tang stamp. None of my many knife related books mention Germany as a M & G Manufacturer or importer.
I am aware that Emil Grosh was born on August 6th, 1841 in Sonneberg, Germany, but he immigrated to the United States a few years later. It would be many years before his meeting with William H. Maher. He was not involved with cutlery in any manner while he was in Germany.
Maher & Grosh manufactured no knives, instead the company was supplied under contract by manufacturers such as Queen Cutlery, Schrade-Walden, New York Knife Company, Miller Brothers, Ulster and Imperial, all were U. S. based company's. These company names, however, did not appear on the knives. ALL had Maher & Grosh with a Toledo, O. tang stamp.
So....why is Germany on my tang?
I am aware of The U. S. Tariff Act of 1890, that required all manufactured goods imported to the United States in or after 1891 to be permanently marked with the name of the country of origin. This, however does not interfere with the dating of my knife and is irrelevant.
This knife is not what one would refer to as a "High End Knife", not Pearl, Ivory, Stag, not even Nickel Silver. No liners, no Brass Pins. Its "Walk & Talk" has now been replaced with "Stumble and Mumble" but it is still in one piece and would qualify as being a Historical Artifact. At least in my eyes and am sure in other Maher & Grosh collectors eyes.
The price for the Maher & Grosh #3185 in 1900 was 25 cents. I must also note that the #3185 was the least expensive knife that Maher & Grosh made, at least in the 1900 catalog.
The pictures below are from my Maher & Grosh Company, 127-129 Erie Street, Toledo Ohio catalog, dated 1900.
I understand there was a Maher & Grosh issued catalog printed in the late 1800"s? I have never seen it.
I have "overlaid" my knife on pictures 5 and 7 below.
I have two questions:
1. Does anyone have, or anyone seen a Maher & Grosh knife with "Germany" on the tang?
2. Does anyone have a picture of this knife in a Maher & Grosh Catalog prior to the 1900 Catalog?
Hopefully, our very own member: Roger Cunningham (peanut740) and Ken Mundhenk who have acquired the rights to the Maher & Grosh knives from the past will tune in and answer my questions.
My beautiful Maher & Grosh knives pictured below (last picture) is the result of Roger and Ken's hard work bringing Maher & Grosh back to life.
While enjoying my coffee every morning, I am on aapk cruising around, enjoying and learning. And always look here in "Maher and Grosh Cutlery Company Forum" to make sure that I do not miss out on Roger and Ken's next beautiful addition.
I find it quite humorous how the author placed the least expensive knife (mine) on the blade of the most expensive knife= The Double=Edge Maher & Grosh Dirk Klondike Knife, $5.00 each for the 8" blade, plus $2.50 for the leather sheath.
It's always important to know what you don't know.