Wilkinson Sword

Wilkinson Sword

Infobox Company
name = Wilkinson Sword
type = Manufacture
foundation = 1772
location_city = High Wycombe
location_country = England
location =
locations =
key_people =
area_served =
industry =
products =
services =
revenue =
operating_income =
net_income =
num_employees =
parent =
divisions =
subsid =
slogan =
homepage =
dissolved =
footnotes =
intl =

Wilkinson Sword is a brand name for two companies that make gardening tools and razors. Wilkinson Sword's origins are in the manufacture of swords.

The company was founded in London in 1772. The brand is currently owned by Energizer Holdings (for razors) and by Fiskars (for gardening tools).

The company's past product lines have included guns, bayonets, and other objects such as typewriters, garden shears, scissors, and motorcycles.

Wilkinson Sword has manufactured its products in three UK locations over the years: in London, Chelsea, Acton, Northumberland [Cramlington] and Wales [Bridgend - Gardening tools] In 2000 it closed its razor plant in the UK and consolidated production in Germany.

For over 100 years, it manufactured ceremonial war swords for various militaries around the world, such as those of the United Kingdom, members of the commonwealth and the United States.Fact|date=April 2007

Merger to form: Wilkinson Match

In 1973 Wilkinson Sword merged with The British Match Corporation to form a new company Wilkinson Match. [* [http://www.fundinguniverse.com/company-histories/Wilkinson-Sword-Ltd-Company-History.html Company history] ] This was intended to create a bigger company, with a bigger advertising budget, to enable the company to fight its American rival in the consumer shaving market: The Gillette Company; and its British subsidiary, Gillette. In this advertising war, Wilkinson Sword made full use of its long and proud tradition of sword making in its television commercials.

Wilkinson Match was then bought by an American company Allegheny Ludlum, from Pittsburgh, who later became bankrupt. Wilkinson Match was then at various times owned by a Scandinavian maker of floor coverings, various banks; and a subsidiary of Volvo.

Most of the former Bryant and May half of Wilkinson Match was closed down or sold off in the late 1970s and early 1980s, including the Bryant and May Factory, Bow and the Bryant and May Factory, Melbourne. The gardening tools division was sold to Fiskars in the 1990s.

Wilkinson Match's rival Gillette is also no longer independent, with Gillette having been acquired by Procter and Gamble in 2005.

Wilkinson Sword today

having products

The company is owned by Energizer Holdings who bought the Company from Pfizer in 2003. The company produces a four-blade razor that is marketed under the Wilkinson Sword brand in Europe and the Schick brand in North America and Australia. The Wilkinson Sword-branded razors are made in Germany. [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/low/business/the_company_file/184274.stm Transfer of production to Germany] ]

Gardening tools

The gardening tools company is owned by Finnish-American company Fiskars Brands and is based in Bridgend, Wales.

Disposal of the sword business

The Acton sword factory closed, and sword production ceased, as of 15 September 2005. Most of the Wilkinson Sword machinery, tools and equipment was purchased by the oldest, producing sword factory in the world, WKC ( [http://wkc-solingen.de/startweb.php Weyersberg, Kirschbaum & Cie] ) of Solingen, Germany. Amongst these items were most of the current British MOD Pattern Sword and Scabbard tools as well as the original blade roll forge of Wilkinson. These are currently used to produce ceremonial swords and scabbards for military and police forces worldwide. WKC continues with the traditional European sword manufacturing.

Robert Pooley purchased sword drawings and forging machinery from Wilkinson Sword and sent them to India. He then set up his own company Pooley Sword which finishes and engraves swords forged in India.

The only two remaining company with UK sword manufacturing facilities are [http://www.aubmedia.com/crispandsons/aboutus.htm Crisp & Sons Ltd] (incorporating Sussex Swords) who have a factory in East Sussex and employ many of the craftsmen who worked for Wilkinson and [http://www.leonpaul.com/ Leon Paul equipment company Limited] who exclusively make swords for the sport of Fencing.


External links

* [http://www.wilkinson-sword.co.uk Wilkinson Sword Homepage]
* [http://www.energizer.com/company/default.asp Company ownership]
* [http://www.shaving.com/default.asp?choosecountry Worldwide site]
* [http://www.wilkinsonswordgarden.co.uk/ Wilkinson Sword Garden Range Homepage]

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