The anecdote begins in 1891 near Karl Elsener, manager of a corporation that made surgical machines. He supported the Association of Swiss Master Cutlers, to secure small bag knives to the Swiss army, who at this case were exploitation German-made ones. It took Elsener cardinal eld to come in up near what he titled the "Soldier's knife" (known present in Switzerland as the "Offiziersmesser"). With suggestions from an person friend, Jeannine Keller, the productive quintessence had a woody handle, and came beside a blade, screwdriver, can opener, and a knock. It was in truth ready-made available to the service earlier 1896, but Elsener was not felicitous beside the device, and in time was competent to put blades on both sides by victimisation a favoured gears victimisation a single-handed spring for some blades. This allowed him to also add a bottle opener.

Elsener's company, Victorinox, was the distinct seller of multi-function pocketknives until 1893. A ensemble in the French-speaking strip of Switzerland titled Paul Boechat & Cie began to marketplace a comparable goods. The institution was then bought by its general manager, Theodore Wenger, and the organization language unit changed to Wenger. By 1908, the Swiss rule contracted to junction the contract for knives betwixt the two companies, in some measure to conciliate German and French-speaking factions in the country, and in part to impact contention (and degrade the prices of the knives). The two companies came to an statement ended marketing, next to Victorinox exploitation the construction "The Original Swiss Army Knife" and Wenger mistreatment "The Genuine Swiss Army Knife". The later twelvemonth (1909), the Swiss army began decorating the knives beside the Swiss political unit allegory (a albescent overlap). Victorinox uses a shield near bilaterally symmetrical symmetricalness circa the cross, time Wenger uses a somewhat rodlike right-angled beside many-sided symmetry. The Swiss army uses knives near a simpler bilaterally-symmetric protective covering.

Victorinox switched to untarnished steel blades and tools in 1921. It is believed Wenger did so as healed circa the said time, but establishment sources are nip and tuck in the order of the detailed date. The knives were sold-out in PX stores on US military service bases from 1945 to 1949. In certainty it is sense that the residence "Swiss Army Knife" was coined in English by American G.I.s during World War II, because they couldn't articulate the Swiss mark "Offiziersmesser".

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Today, Swiss ground forces knives comprise a battalion of tools, including: individual blades, a bottle-opener/screwdriver/wire stripper, can opening/small screwdriver, tweezers, toothpick, corkscrew, phillips-head screwdriver, horny structure file, scissors, saw, hook, magnifying glass, ballpen pen, fish scaler, pliers, keychain, USB flash memory, digital clock, digital altimeter, LED light, optical maser needle mp3 player, and a copper-base alloy spacer in the proper regular army model, which allows congress of the SIG 550 and SIG 510 harm rifles (with the screwdriver and juice reamer extended, the gouge becomes a temperance to the firing pin during the fastener convention). Wenger has a specific worthy which contains all the tools they variety. The machinery is almost twofold as deep as it is long, and retails for on all sides $1,200.

The knives are besides procurable in many a other flag besides the time-honoured red. Black, blue, white, pink, camouflage, phosphorescent yellow and frequent others, in some foggy or lucid. Also auriferous and grove facing. The prototype truly utilised by the Swiss service is in reality aluminum, and not red at all.

On April 26, 2005, Victorinox noninheritable the Wenger company, comely once again the separate contributor of knives to the Swiss army. The company intends to resource the Wenger ridicule alive for knives sold to consumers.

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