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100-blade multitool with a pistol

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Forum topic by Dan'um Style posted 10-27-2013 05:32 PM 2974 views 0 times favorited 12 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Dan'um Style

14167 posts in 3449 days


10-27-2013 05:32 PM

Topic tags/keywords: resource

This 9 lb, 1-foot-diameter “multi tool” was designed as a calling card by the F.W. Holler Company of Solingen, Germany, who were seeking to make a name for German knife manufacturers in Solingen (who had a centuries-long reputation for knifemaking) among the emerging market for Swiss Army Knives. It has 100 “blades,” including a .22 revolver. And a straight razor.
It’s hard to tell by photos alone, but this multi-tool is much larger than your typical Swiss Army knife. Its handle is about 10 inches long, 6 inches wide and 4 inches deep, which makes a lot of sense when you realize how many different types of blades have to fit into it. To start, there’s two dagger blades, a serrated bread knife, a few pairs of shears, a couple of saw blades, a corkscrew, a lancet (for boils?), button hooks, a cigar cutter (hey, why not!), mechanical pens and pencils, and even a piano tuning fork (whew). Really, the only thing the knife is missing is a bottle opener, since the bottle cap we know today wasn’t invented until 1892.

The tool weighs in at around 9 pounds, and with everything fully extended, the object reaches about a foot in diameter, which makes this much more a suitcase knife than a pocket knife. Miller says it takes about 25 minutes to fully open the gadget, and even when you take your time, it’s a dangerous task. “I’ve cut myself on that darn straight razor,” he says. The Smithsonian acquired the knife in 1986 after it was donated by James F. Parker. While alive, Parker was well known in knife collection circles—he owned his own cutlery company and served as the first president of the Knife Collectors Association. Miller says the first time he saw the object he couldn’t believe it was real. “I was particularly impressed with the revolver,” he recalls. “If you bring this knife to a gunfight, you’re OK.”

Most Swiss Army knives could be pressed into service as a weapon. They have a pocket knife and a corkscrew with a decently sharp end. Even that nail file could do some damage if you really wanted it to. But all of that stuff starts to look pretty innocent—cute even!—when placed next to the multi-tool gadget you see above. Just take a moment to appreciate its absurd complexity. This amped-up Swiss Army-style knife has 100 functions, which is a demure way to say there are 100 very scary looking blades of different varieties packed into its 10-inch handle. Oh, and did you notice the fully-functioning .22-caliber pin-shot revolver tucked in between the shears and dagger? This is, simply put, the most badass Swiss Army knife ever created.
There’s a story behind this bizarre and beguiling piece of weaponry. Oddly enough, the craziest Swiss Army style-knife to ever exist wasn’t even made in Switzerland, explains David Miller, an associate curator of armed forces history at the National Museum of American History. A product of the F.W. Holler Company, the knife was actually manufactured in Solingen, Germany, a medium-sized town in the North Rhine region of the country. Solingen, appropriately nicknamed the City of Blades, has been home to some of the most finely crafted knives, swords and shears since the Middle Ages, though it’s now better known for its quality flatware. It was here in the late 1870s, in the cutlery capital of the world, that John S. Holler decided to expand the company. “[The cutlery companies of Solingen] were trying to get into the world market, and were competing with the bigger, more connected British firms who cornered the cutlery market exports,” says Miller. This led John S. Holler to open up a store in New York City.
Like any good salesman, Holler needed a marketing plan. And since Twitter did not exist, the company was going to have to create a demo piece to showcase the its products and craftsmanship. This object, the one you see in the photos, would hang in a window or be displayed in a case when the company traveled around to world expos. So basically, this foldable knife is a very sharp and very dangerous catalog. Other companies made similar exhibition knives, but none were quite as stunning as the Holler piece. “Some were made in England, but not nearly as spectacular as this,” says Miller. “This is the finest one I’ve ever seen.”
“If you bring this knife to a gunfight, you’re OK.”

It’s hard to tell by photos alone, but this multi-tool is much larger than your typical Swiss Army knife. Its handle is about 10 inches long, 6 inches wide and 4 inches deep, which makes a lot of sense when you realize how many different types of blades have to fit into it. To start, there’s two dagger blades, a serrated bread knife, a few pairs of shears, a couple of saw blades, a corkscrew, a lancet (for boils?), button hooks, a cigar cutter (hey, why not!), mechanical pens and pencils, and even a piano tuning fork (whew). Really, the only thing the knife is missing is a bottle opener, since the bottle cap we know today wasn’t invented until 1892.
The tool weighs in at around 9 pounds, and with everything fully extended, the object reaches about a foot in diameter, which makes this much more a suitcase knife than a pocket knife. Miller says it takes about 25 minutes to fully open the gadget, and even when you take your time, it’s a dangerous task. “I’ve cut myself on that darn straight razor,” he says. The Smithsonian acquired the knife in 1986 after it was donated by James F. Parker. While alive, Parker was well known in knife collection circles—he owned his own cutlery company and served as the first president of the Knife Collectors Association. Miller says the first time he saw the object he couldn’t believe it was real. “I was particularly impressed with the revolver,” he recalls. “If you bring this knife to a gunfight, you’re OK.”

“If you bring this knife to a gunfight, you’re OK.”

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain


12 replies so far

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quicksilver

193 posts in 2054 days


#1 posted 10-27-2013 05:36 PM

Your posts are always entertaining.
Keep them coming.

-- Quicksilver

View HorizontalMike's profile (online now)

HorizontalMike

7155 posts in 2380 days


#2 posted 10-27-2013 05:44 PM

But what does it look like CLOSED?

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

View lew's profile

lew

11343 posts in 3221 days


#3 posted 10-27-2013 06:02 PM

-- Lew- Time traveler. Purveyor of the Universe's finest custom rolling pins.

View HorizontalMike's profile (online now)

HorizontalMike

7155 posts in 2380 days


#4 posted 10-27-2013 07:36 PM

WOW! That is amazing Lew!

-- HorizontalMike -- "Woodpeckers understand..."

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TopamaxSurvivor

17672 posts in 3142 days


#5 posted 10-27-2013 09:05 PM

Will it close?

-- Bob in WW ~ "some old things are lovely, warm still with life ... of the forgotten men who made them." - D.H. Lawrence

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14167 posts in 3449 days


#6 posted 10-27-2013 09:37 PM

wish I had closed photo … obviously it does, but the photos were a internet snag and paste job.


-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

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Dan'um Style

14167 posts in 3449 days


#7 posted 10-27-2013 09:49 PM

Roman BC
Some 1,800 years before the production of the first official Swiss Army knife the Romans built their own multi-tool that both stands the test of time and is really cool.

Many times people (myself included) get so pumped up and excited about latest and greatest inventions that we fail to reflect on history, but this ancient knife is truly something to marvel at.
This multi-tool, which dates back to sometime between 200 AD and 400 AD, features a spoon, fork, blade, spike (probably for eating snails), toothpick and spatula. The surprisingly well-kept tool is made entirely from silver except for an iron blade.

According to the History Blog, multi-tools like this one weren’t uncommon in ancient Rome, but they were typically made from bronze and had significantly fewer parts. That’s why it appears as though the owner of the knife was probably much wealthier than others at the time and may have even been a traveler.

It was discovered in the Mediterranean around 20 years ago. In 1991, it was acquired by the Fitzwilliam Museum in the UK where it will be on display. If you’re in the area, I highly recommend you check it out.

So, although we usually call nearly every knife multi-tool a Swiss Army knife, this is evidence we should really be calling something like a Roman knife. Nevertheless, I somehow doubt Roman knife will ever catch on.

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View SCOTSMAN's profile

SCOTSMAN

5839 posts in 3051 days


#8 posted 10-27-2013 09:59 PM

It shows some of the old skills. Although pretty well unusable but indeed a work of dedication and art IMHO Alistair

-- excuse my typing as I have a form of parkinsons disease

View Karson's profile

Karson

35035 posts in 3866 days


#9 posted 10-27-2013 10:21 PM

It would require two sets of suspenders to carry it around in your pocket.

-- I've been blessed with a father who liked to tinker in wood, and a wife who lets me tinker in wood. Southern Delaware soon moving to Virginia karsonwm@gmail.com †

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Dan'um Style

14167 posts in 3449 days


#10 posted 10-27-2013 11:24 PM

unless it was “Andrea the giant” or Yao Ming

..

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Grumpy's profile

Grumpy

21569 posts in 3317 days


#11 posted 10-28-2013 06:49 AM

Quick draw Magraw would have trouble with that lot. LOL

-- Grumpy - "Always look on the bright side of life"- Monty Python

View DrDirt's profile

DrDirt

4169 posts in 3208 days


#12 posted 10-28-2013 03:44 PM

Well I suppose since most multitools use a nylon holster already… it is covered.

Honestly though, what great craftsmanship went into that.
Looking at teh scrollwork on the fine bladed saw, and the ivory handled straight razor.

neat stuff.

-- 'Political correctness is fascism pretending to be manners' ~George Carlin

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