Imperial Schrade

Imperial Schrade

Imperial Knife Company was established in Providence, Rhode Island in 1916 as a manufacturer of commercial value-priced folding pocket knives.

In 1941, capitalist Albert M. Baer purchased the Ulster Knife Company which was founded in Ellenville, New York in the 1870’s and merged it with the Imperial Knife Company as the Imperial Knife Associated Companies, producing knives for the military throughout World War II and into the Vietnam War.

Joined by his brother Henry in 1942, Albert M. Baer purchased Schrade Cutlery Company in 1946 and renamed it the Schrade Walden Cutlery Corporation, a division of the Imperial Knife Associated Companies group. The Schrade Walden division was moved from Walden, New York to Ellenville, New York as part of the consolidation with the Ulster-Imperial management in 1958, though the two companies would maintain separate manufacturing facilities.

Imperial Knife had positive economic growth up to the late 1970's, but as the conglomerate entered the raider-trader 1980’s, a consolidation took place and the company divested itself of various holdings in order to streamline management.

In 1983, Albert M. Baer took the company private to ward off hostile investors by purchasing all outstanding stock in the company.

The company changed names in 1985 to Imperial Schrade Corp. and Walter Gardiner was named President and COO. All U.S. operations were combined under one roof in Ellenville.

The company entered the multi-tool market in the pre-Millenium 90's by producing the Schrade Tough® Tool and Tough Chip knife lines. These design successes laid the groundwork for the award winning i-Quip and Navitool performance products, along with instrument pods for the outdoor sports markets.

In 2003, the Q3 Technology (for Quick, Quiet and Quality) was the tagline for a series of multi-functional folding performance knives.

In 2004, Imperial Schrade Corp. celebrated its 100TH anniversary. The company's world headquarters in scenic Ellenville, New York had more than 548,000 square feet of manufacturing space and employed more than 450 people. Schrade's manufacturing assets included the Listowel, Ireland facility which employed over 70 people.

The 93 acre site in Ellenville was closed on July 30, 2004.


*Walden and Maybrook (Images of America: New York) (Images of America) by Marc Newman
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* [ Taylor Brands]

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