JAMESC41001 wrote:http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/common/nysm/f ... vol1_0.pdf
Dan, check this out. It’s a lot of info to digest but I think you will find it interesting. There are many things that pertain to what was happening at Walden knife. Specifically the capital investment NYK made around 1905. At this time NYK went to Drop pressing their blades and you can see production went up as the number of employees fell. At the same time Walden’s employees went up. This is during the time Simmons touted their knives as being hand forged from the finest Sheffield steel. Their is a lot there but the numbers are pretty fascinating to me. Check it out.
This was a fascinating read. These lines from page 77 got me thinking:
"The economic decline of the New York Knife Company factory was caused by increasing competition with a number of knife factories that had continued to modernize their machinery and manufacturing process after World War I."
I recently got a well preserved "Stainless Cutlery" (Camillus) "Stainless Sportsman". These knives went for $21.50 a Dozen in 1926 and scream "modern machinery and manufacturing process". It appears as if all the little imperfections found on most knives of the era due to human hands still performing some of the manufacturing tasks are gone. The standard, carbon blade NY Knife Company #177 Tickler went for $25.20 a dozen in 1925. In 1929 The "Stainless Sportsman" went up to $23.90 per doz. while the NYKco #177s dropped in price to 16.80 per dz. The next listing I found for the #177 was $15.00 per doz, but this was in 1932, sadly, a year or more AFTER the company went belly up. I've only seen one example of a Wallkill River Works toothpick in Richard Langston's book. These, as you probably know, were a last ditch attempt by NYKco to put out a cheaper line of knives, But from the looks of this one, the machinary and manufacturing process hadn't changed only perhaps the gauge of the steel, etc. used.
I'm not making a scholarly analysis here, just a small observation having studied the catologs and purchased some of the knives. But it seems that the authors/historians who made this study are correct saying: he who modernizes his machinary and manufacturing processes (Camillus)-- lives to see another year. He who doesn't modernize--despite continuing til the end to make superb cutlery like NYKco did--doesn't survive.