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Thread: W R Case & Sons

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    Default W R Case & Sons

    Hi all
    I recently won this razor on the Bay
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    As I understand it, Case stopped making razors in 1962 there is no way this razor is 49 years old, the box is mint as is the razor and there was still a thin lacquer coat on the blade for (I assume) protection, the engraving looks laser cut to me.
    can anyone shed some light on when this might have been made?

    Many thanks
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    There is an interesting bit of history here. Some time ago I wrote an article about it, some of which is included here....

    In the 1980s Case were making losses, and quality was on the decline, and the company was placed on the market in 1988. It was purchased by Parker, and then in 1990 by River Associates, who owned it for a couple of years before it was acquired by Zippo. Some would say that the "dark period" for Case ended when Zippo turned round its fortunes. Others would maintain that the dark period ended with the purchase of Case by Parker, but in reality, Parker was never really able to take the company forwards in the way that Zippo did.

    Parker's dream: "The biggest reason for the Case Classics was my love for fine quality knives". "I wanted everyone to be able to own and enjoy a superior knife hand crafted in the old way; beautiful handle material and high Carbon steel blades that would take and hold a razor edge".

    Actually, in reality, his project failed, because a) there were not enough people (the market) who shared his dream, and b) he did not have them made "in house", employing the same craftsmen who could actually do it, and the quality was lower than the old knives. Why do you think Zippo's first move was to re-employ the old craftsmen?

    When Parker owned Case (for only two years between 1988 and 1990), he also acquired the old Case family brands trade marks of Crandall and J D C Kane, and he continued to have knives made under these trade marks well after Zippo took over W.R.Case & Sons. (Parker held onto the trade names!) Case subsequently purchased back these trade marks, and have begun to use them again.

    So, in a nutshell, your razor was made between 1988 and 1990 by Parker, when he owned the brand name W R Case & Sons. But the razors and knives that were made during his ownership were not actually made in Bradford PA in the Case factory. Manufacturing was outsourced to Queen Cutlery and Solingen Germany, where your razor was made.

    Rod

    PS. It is possible that you bought the razor on Ebay from Parker's son!
    The family stashed away a huge quantity of knives etc. from the Parker period, and he has been steadily selling them off for several years. Your razor is "brand new" unused.

    PPS. The blade isn't laser etched. It is acid etched.
    Last edited by Neep; 09-07-2011 at 02:49 AM.

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    Great info Neep.I have several N.O.S case razors,how can you tell if made by parker.
    Mine have real Mother of pearl scales,odiousley heavy razors.

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    Quote Originally Posted by pixelfixed View Post
    Great info Neep.I have several N.O.S case razors,how can you tell if made by parker.
    Mine have real Mother of pearl scales,odiousley heavy razors.
    'Tis easy to tell. The Parker "Case" razors were made in Solingen.
    W R Case & Sons made razors in Bradford PA. Always.

    In the case of the razor above it is easy, because of the box.

    BUT:

    Parker was a bit naughty with knives made in Germany though. He had them marked "USA", by using the "Case family brands" trade marks. e.g. a knife marked "Kane Bradford PA USA" was actually made in Germany, without stating the country of manufacture. (Which is actually a legal requirement). He did the same with many of the "Case XX Classics" knives, although some of those were made in the USA by Queen Cutlery.

    I wonder if Odset's new razor has "Germany" anywhere on the blade or tang?
    Because that's where it was made.


    Rod
    Last edited by Neep; 09-07-2011 at 10:16 AM.

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    Thanks for the insight Neep, so it's N.O.S I am still a reasonably happy bunny though! The guy I bought the razor from had about eight different razors at auction on the same day with very close end times, all were worth a punt I kept going back to the Case for some reason maybe I was meant to have it!

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    If I had seen it I would have bid on it too
    One very good thing about the Parker "Case" knives and razors made in Germany is the Solingen carbon steel. Much better at taking an edge. (By that period W R Case & Sons had moved over almost entirely to stainless steel knives).

    By the way, if you ever see a "Bulldog" brand knife or razor, then they were made in the same factory in Solingen too. By Parker.

    Rod

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    Great Info Rod, Turns out I have 5 case blades,two NOS MOP,boxes are marked solingen, only markings on the tangs and blades are:WR case and sons cutlery co.Tested XX stainless, same on one I have in Staghorn.
    as a side note, one has inner and outer boxes with all paperwork (soligen blade) stating assembled in the U.S.
    Also have two Bluepoints from Bradford,do you know what timeframe they might be from?.

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    I am not sure about your Bluepoints.
    My expertise is in Case knives really. With the knives it is easy to date them pretty accurately due to the style of the "Case" name branding, and later, (too late for razors) they introduced a tiny punched "dot" system for each year in conjunction with different styles of lettering. (10 dots down to 1 dot)

    I haven't handled any of the Case razors, so I would like to see a close up of the tang stamps to see if they conform with the same dating scheme as the knives.

    Cheers
    Rod

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    No Dots on any of them,on closer inspection in very tiny script the tangs on the soligen blades do say Germany.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Neep View Post
    I am not sure about your Bluepoints.
    My expertise is in Case knives really. With the knives it is easy to date them pretty accurately due to the style of the "Case" name branding, and later, (too late for razors) they introduced a tiny punched "dot" system for each year in conjunction with different styles of lettering. (10 dots down to 1 dot)

    I haven't handled any of the Case razors, so I would like to see a close up of the tang stamps to see if they conform with the same dating scheme as the knives.

    Cheers
    Rod
    Hi mate, if you look at my photo next to W R Case & Sons Cutlery Co on the tang, there are what look like two vertical dark lines, when viewed through a loupe they spell out Solingen Germany other than that and the engraving on the blade there is nothing, no dot system.

    Cheers

    John

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