How to Date Queen Knives

By Joe McElroy ; Updated April 12, 2017

Queen knives are the name of a brand of high-quality pocket knives that have been manufactured in the same factory in Titusville, Pennsylvania, since 1902. The factory was originally opened by Shatt and Morgan Cutlery. Queen City Cutlery was formed by five former supervisors from Shatt and Morgan in 1918. When Shatt and Morgan went into bankruptcy in the late 1920s, Queen City bought the factory and equipment at a sheriff's sale and moved all its operations into the factory in 1933. Servotronics Corporation bought the company in 1969. It has maintained the name, Queen Cutlery, and the original process for manufacturing knives at the Titusville factory.

Examine your knife for a tang stamp, the tiny engraving imprinted into some fine utensils. All Queen knives manufactured from 1922 until about 1960 have a tang stamp. The company resumed tang stamping in 1972.

Take several photos of your knife that show the detail of the markings on either side. If a tang stamp is present on the blade, take as clear a photo of it as possible.

Contact one of the distributors of Queen knives. C. Risner Cutlery has taken possession of the Shatt and Morgan Cutlery name. It is a major distributor of Queen knives. Cumberland Knife Works is also one of the major distributors. Submit your photos to a distributor, who can help you date and identify the knife.

Tip

Unless your photograph is crystal clear, a distributor might ask to see the knife, itself. A clear image of the tang stamp can be critical. Between 1922 and 1955, Queen Cutlery used 22 different tang stamps. If you want to try to identify and date the knife on your own, the "American Premium Guide to Knives and Razors: Identification and Value Guide" by Jim Sargent is a comprehensive guide with extensive pictures and value approximations.

Warning

There are several imitators of the Queen brand. Before paying a premium price for a cheap knockoff, have a knowledgeable distributor or vendor confirm it is actually a Queen knife.

About the Author

Joe McElroy has been writing on politics and culture since 1983. His articles have appeared in a diverse array of publications, including the "Chicago Daily Observer" and "Immaculata" magazine. McElroy works occasionally as a strategic consultant to federal candidates. He majored in American history at Northwestern University.