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Old 23rd July 2018, 08:32 PM   #1
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Default Old knife set from Ontario Knife Company

This is a set of seven knives in the "Old Hickory" series from the Ontario Knife Company. I have had the set since 2002 and it has just been lying around since then. It came from a friend's grandmother who could not really remember when she got it. She thought in the 1950s but it may have been from her mother and could be from earlier. I'm not much interested in kitchen knives but it seemed like a nice old set. Since that time I have had it hanging in my garage collecting dust.

In clearing stuff out to move, I was about to put it into a garage sale and decided to check out any information online. Finding none, I emailed the manufacturer. Here is the very nice reply from OKC:

That was before all our times here. We don't have the part number in our system for me to get a history of it. Your grandmother is probably pretty accurate with her date. The only thing close we have is a set of 5 in a wooden hanger like that, but that is no longer in production either.

Best regards,

Lin Assink
Sales Coordinator
While there are probably other sites where I could ask my question, I thought I would try here first. When do you think this set was made? Is this 7-knife set a rarity for the Old Hickory line?

A couple of things caught my eye. The chef's knife (far right) has a different hilt from the rest and it is actually only a three-quarter tang whereas all but one of the others are full tang. The small paring knife (far left) also has a partial tang. As best I can tell, the currently made Old Hickory knives are full tang construction. I don't know if these features help to identify the period of manufacture.

All blades are high carbon steel, and each has a sharp edge. Several of them seem to have been used, although not much by their appearance.

Look forward to hearing more knowledgeable folks.

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Old 23rd July 2018, 08:59 PM   #2
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Default Ontario Knife Co

No older that 1923 it looks like.

"In 1923, James A. Chrestensen, who had been with the Company for a dozen years, became president and the beginning of the "Old Hickory" line would begin. His son Robert F. Chrestensen would take over as president after his father retired in 1952. Ontario Knife would expand its role in the cutlery industry with a membership in the American Cutlery Manufacturers' Association in which Robert was a past president."
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Old 23rd July 2018, 09:30 PM   #3
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Hi Rick. Thanks for that info. I think the OKC has been around a while, at least into the 19th C. I found online pics of similar knives described as Shipleigh butcher's knives made for OKC in the 1890s, but not bearing the "Old Hickory" brand.

Attached is the maker's mark as it appears on the small butcher's knife.

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