Swiss Army Knives: 111 Years Old Today

“June 12th, 1897: Karl Elsener legally registers his “soldiers’ knife” for use by the Swiss army. In an age when nationalism was fashionable, Elsener, a Swiss manufacturer of surgical instruments and cutlery, was a very fashionable man indeed. So he was less than thrilled to learn that the Swiss army was importing Solingen blades from neighboring Germany. Elsener set out to develop a homegrown multifunctional tool worthy of being carried by his local Alpine troops. His prototype of what became known as the Swiss army knife appeared in 1891. The original — made with a wooden handle — included a blade, a screwdriver and a can opener. But Elsener was not happy with it and tinkered endlessly, adding a second blade using a revolutionary spring mechanism, and strengthening the housing. The addition of a second blade necessitated extra space for the spring, which also opened up more room for other tools.” – Source:

Ahh, Swiss Army knives – old school geek. Myself, I carry their 2 GB USB Flash drive + combo tool in my pocket every day. It’s amazing how often it comes in handy!