Developement of Swiss Army Knife
In 1891 Karl Elsener, a Swiss cutlery manufacturer, disappointed that the Swiss
army was using knives imported from Germany, designed an army knife with a
revolutionary spring mechanism that allowed its tool to switch to a screwdriver,
can opener, or a second blade. To manufacturer the knife, Elsener created a
company named Victoria, after his mother. In 1921 the company was renamed to
Victorinox, relating to the french word for "rust-resitiant".
Today, every new recruit in the Swiss army is issued a Victorinox, or "Swiss army"
knife. The knife is also used by everyone from Boy Scouts to building contractors, and
even space astronauts. More than 34,000 Swiss army knives are manufactured each day.
A Swiss army knife's tools may include a large blade, small blade, straight
blade screwdriver, Phillips screwdriver, bottle opener, wire cutter, wire stripper,
pliers, scissors, fish scaler, wood saw, metal saw, metal file, ruler, magnifying
glass, tweezers, and many other accessories. In fact the largest Swiss army knife
holds 85 tools, including a laser pointer and a USB flash drive, and is nine inches thick.
A Swiss Army Knife makes a great gift