Boker, H. & Co.
While information is scarce on this company, there are several sources we can point to that provide accounts of their history.
Source 1: Knife Collector Forum - Individual source, unverified information.
Source 2: Boker Manufacturing website history page - German
In the late 1800's to 1900's, H. Boker & Co. purchased the Valley Forge Cuttlery factory in order to begin U.S. manufacture of pocket knives. According to several accounts, up until this time the majority of Boker's business was through import and resale operations. However, the import duty during that time was 90% and made the import of such goods nearly impossible. Here is a link to a nice article on the production of knives at the Valley Forge Cuttlery factory.
This search result from a 1914-1915 Dept. of Commerce report on U.S. trade with the world illustrates the vast quantity and range of goods made by Boker of Germany and imported into the U.S. by H. Boker & Sons. This list also represents our first noting of pliers from H. Boker.
The January, 1920 edition of Hardware Dealers Magazine reports the construction of a huge new manufacturing facility in Hilton, NJ. The article notes that the factory will consolidate the manufacturing the following subsidiaries: Scissor factory in Newark, NJ; C. H. Redman & Co., also of Newark producing clippers, pruners and shears; Boker Cutlery & Hardware Co. operating in Brooklyn producing high speed bridged reamers.
In December of 1914, H. Boker & Co. registered in New York State as an official business entity, noting a capital stock of $500,000. New York business registration. The business record indicates the company was dissolved on July 2, 2004.
According to our first unconfirmed reference above, the following are Boker acquisitions:
- 1965 - merged with New Britain Machine
- A small blurb noting the acquisition was found in the 9/30/1964 edition of The Akron Beacon Journal.
- 1968 - New Britain Machine merges with Litton Industries
- The first mention of this merger comes to us from the 8/9/1968 edition of the Los Angeles Times
- 1970 - acquired by Wiss & Sons
- Reported in this edition from 1970 of Hardware Age
- 1977 - acquired by Cooper Industries
- A small blurb noting the Cooper / Wiss acquisition was found in the 9/19/1976 edition of The Palm Beach Post.
Boker Cutlery & Hardware Co., Inc (New York, NY) - Sub Brands / Trade Names / Trademarks
- ARBOLITO (Pruners)
- KINITE (Ferro Alloys)
- Valley Forge (Scissors, Shears and Grass Hooks)
- Alsteel (Adjustable)
- TRENTON - Inside rhombus, with "Patent Solid Eye Pick" outside top, and "Manufactured by the Trenton Vise & Tool Works" outside below. (Mechanics' Tools) (First Use January, 1876)