New York Knife Co.

Wallkill River Works – Walden, N.Y. – This is a Pen knife pattern that measures 3 3/8″ closed. The handles are bone and this knife was made 1920 – 1931. The New York Knife Company made much of the cutlery employed by the Union Army during the Civil War.

In the early 1890s, President Grover Cleveland lowered tariffs on many imported goods, including knives. Competitively priced German cutlery began to flood the American market, and together with the Panic of 1893 and the economic slowdown that followed for several years, the knife companies and their owners went heavily into debt and it looked for a while as if they might not survive.

But in 1897 President William McKinley, a personal friend of Thomas Wilson Bradley of the U.S. Knife Company, pushed through the Dingley Tariff that restored the status quo ante. The knifemakers returned to profitability and were able to pay off their debts; and in gratitude Bradley had a statue of McKinley erected that remains in Walden today.


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