Kissing Crane Knife Company History
The Kissing Crane story began when a German scissors maker from Soligen named Peter Daniels Pauls married Johanne Amalie Storsbeg, whose father owned a penknife making business. In 1834, shortly after the marriage Pauls began to produce penknives on his own. The first shipment of Pauls’ Knives was shipped to the United States in 1850 and his high quality three- and four-blade knives were appreciated by both tradesmen and collectors alike. Peter and Johanne’s daughter later married a young scissors maker named Frederich Robert Klaas, and after Pauls’ death, the two companies were merged to form the Robert Klaas Company in 1869. Production expanded and the Klaas name continued to grow in popularity and in 1895 Klaas registered the “Kissing Crane” logo as its trademark.
Ownership and management of the Klaas Company has passed through several generations succeeding Robert Klaas. But as late as 1930, there was still a Klaas working with the company as Klaas’ great grandson Hugo Schiesen had begun work there. Kissing Crane celebrated its 100th Anniversary in 1934. The company history between 1934 and the 1980s is not well known.
In the 1980s there was a large demand in the U.S. for German made pocket knives. The United Cutlery company was originally started to be a source for knives made from all parts of the world, so at the time they were working with several German manufacturers to have an exclusive for the USA market. United Cutlery was importing stock German made pocket knives and stilettos from Boker and the Robert Klass factory around 1983.
United-Boker was the first German co brand started, then United Cutlery took over USA distribution of the Kissing Crane brand sometime around 1985. Kissing Crane became an exclusive United Cutlery brand a few years later. The Kissing Crane brand is now owned by On The Edge Brands, Inc. – a 25-year-old family owned business in Moultrie, Ga.
Through the years the demand and rising cost of material as well as the change in company ownership caused production to be moved into a new Taiwan premium knife making factory and later to a smaller factory in China managed by the same company. After 181 years, the attention to detail and quality in manufacturing is still a top priority with all Kissing Crane brand knives.