Tuna Valley Cutlery
Tuna Valley Cutlery by David Anthony
Article taken from the May, 2010 issue of KNIFE WORLD, and presented here with the express permission of the publisher.
Warm up the old computer and surf to your favorite search engine. Type in “Tuna Valley,” and the only place you will find a geographical area with that name is in the same county as Bradford, Pennsylvania. You know the place, synonymous with high grade collectable cutlery for over 100 years and still putting out knives yet today. The Indian name for the stream in this McKean County, Pennsylvania valley is Tunungwant Creek. That’s too tough for most of us to pronounce, so it was shortened to Tuna Creek many years ago by the locals. The valley this stream meanders through is Tuna Valley, an area of intense oilfield operations during the early oil boom days. Several businesses sported the name back then like the local Tuna Valley bank. Today we still see remnants of it in such places as the name of the local sportsman’s club.
The year was 1904, and business with the Platts brothers’ cutlery operation over in nearby Eldred, Pennsylvania was doing well, but the group just couldn’t come together on a direction to take the business. Charles Platts, the grand patriarch of that cutlery empire, had passed away several years earlier and the five Platts brothers had reached a point of making some crucial decisions. It was time to expand or make significant changes, and to do so would require more capital, meaning the inclusion of investors outside of the family.
Meanwhile Russ Case, related by marriage to the Platts family, was moving his piece of the Case Cutlery dynasty to Bradford. Henry Nixon Platts and his four brothers agreed to sell their shares of the legendary C. Platts’ & Sons operation if H.N. would merge with Russ Case. Russ was an outstanding and experienced salesman and H.N. Platts a skilled cutler. It seemed to be a perfect match for both. Equipment from the famous C. Platts & Sons’ plant in Eldred, Pennsylvania was moved to the newly constructed W.R. Case & Sons Bank Street location in Bradford, near the banks of the Tuna Creek. READ ENTIRE ARTICLE (PDF)