Queen Cutlery Company, a longtime business in Titusville, announced Wednesday afternoon, on its Facebook page, that it has closed in order to reorganize.
According to Kenneth Daniels, CEO and president of the manufacturer’s parent company, Ohio-based Daniels Family Cutlery Corp., in the Facebook post, Queen Cutlery has closed due to issues with “cash flow.”
Daniels said the company has been forced to cease all production and close it’s Titusville facility, and furlough it’s employees while it goes through a period of reorganization.
The Daniels Family Cutlery Corp. purchased Titusville’s knife-making plant in mid-September 2012.
In a story that was published in the Sept. 21, 2012, edition of The Herald, it was reported that Queen Cutlery parent company Servotronics Inc. (STV), of Elma, N.Y., announced that it had completed the sale of the assets of the Titusville cutlery plant to the Ohio knife maker.
Queen Cutlery is located at 507 Chestnut St.
Attempts to reach Daniels were not immediately successful, Wednesday.
According to Queen Cutlery spokesperson Jennie Moore, Daniels Family Cutlery purchased the cutlery, “lock, stock and barrel.”
Moore said that the operation would remain as a cutlery and most of the 24 employees at the time would retain their jobs at the plant.
The operation is non-unionized and its employees are not bound under a contract.
According to The Herald’s September 2012 story, STV reported that the sale of assets was part of a previously reported, long-term strategic effort to enhance profit margins through the elimination of certain select components/products. At that time, the company was also in the process of further evaluating existing product lines and the consolidation of facilities.
The Herald reported that the Daniels Family Cutlery, which has been trading knives since the 1940s, had been in negotiations with Queen Cutlery since June 4, 2012.
The newspaper story stated that while all of Queen Cutlery’s manufacturing is done at the Titusville plant, while most other functions, including sales, accounting and customer service, were to be handled in Franklinville, N.Y., at the site of Queen Cutlery’s sister company, Ontario Knife Company.
Another story, published Sept. 22, 2014, in The Herald, reported that Queen Cutlery was poised to hire on new employees following the purchase and ongoing installation of new quality control equipment.
The story reported that Daniels announced a recent major production equipment investment.
The Herald story went on to report that Daniels indicated that the equipment was received and that installation was ongoing.
“The equipment was purchased to streamline the production process, but more importantly, to eliminate the issue of back orders,” said Daniels at the time.
He added that the new equipment will make quality control much easier, more reliable and a less time-consuming task to properly manage.
According to The Herald story, Queen Cutlery was anticipating that the new production addition would likely produce six to eight additional jobs by as early as Jan. 1, 2015.
The history of Queen Cutlery
The cutlery plant building on Chestnut Street has a long history dating back to 1902.
According to Daniels Family Cutlery website, if the walls of Queen Cutlery could talk, they would still reflect the “whump” of machinery, the “tap” of the cutler’s adjusting hammer, and the “walk and talk” of a finely-crafted knife.
The old English cutlers called the feel of a blade tang against the back spring the “walk,” and the crisp snap of the blade closing when properly fitted the “talk.” A knife with “walk and talk” was a familiar term at Queen, an art that is becoming more rare with the move by many manufacturers to produce springless, locking liner knives.
And, although the walls of Queen Cutlery ceased humming, Wednesday, with the “walk and talk,” the cutler’s sounds can still be heard within those walls. Queen Cutlery improved and modernized the materials — better steels, stronger handle materials, more durable knives, but it had kept the tradition of craftsmanship and quality that remains unchanged as it was since those first knives were made at 507 Chestnut St. so long ago.
This legacy predates even Queen Cutlery.
The factory’s first tenant was the Schatt and Morgan Cutlery Company, which opened its plant in Titusville in 1902.
The history of the cutlery plant didn’t stop there.
Five former Schatt and Morgan Cutlery Company employees — E. Clarence Erickson, Jesse F. Barker, Harry L. Mathews, Geza Revitzky, and Frank Foresther — started their own business in 1922.
They named their new company Queen City Cutlery, after Titusville, which had been known during the oil boom days as “the Queen City.”
They developed a thriving contract business, and were still doing well when their former employer, Schatt and Morgan, closed its doors in the 1930s.
The 1930s were a difficult time for many American industries, including cutlery makers. Many once famous and thriving cutleries met their demise in this era.
At a sheriff’s auction, the Queen City Cutlery Company’s founders bought all the holdings, land, buildings, and equipment of the bankrupted Schatt and Morgan Company.
In 1969, the descendants of the five Queen City founders decided the business would survive better as a part of a corporate conglomeration.
It was around this time that Queen City Cutlery was purchased by Servotronics Corporation.
Then, in September 2012, Kenneth Daniels of Daniels Family Cutlery, purchased the business.
Hill can be reached by email, at firstname.lastname@example.org.