There is probably no man on Earth who wouldn’t have a Swiss knife or its look-alike. And though the idea of a pocket knife may have originated nowhere near Switzerland, it gained global fame thank to a Swiss Karl Elsener and is now associated unbreakably with his motherland and perfect Swiss quality. OUTLOOK tells the story of the most famous and popular knife of the world.
In a distant year 1891 the owner of surgical equipment production company Karl Elsener suddenly discovered that folding knives used by the Swiss Army soldiers were produced in Germany, not in his homeland, so he hastened to set the misfit straight. Without further ado he founded Association of Swiss Knife Manufacturers with the goal to provide national army with home-made knives. Elsener united about 25 craftsmen to create his first instrument. It was called ‘soldier’s knife’, had a wooden handle and was significantly improved by the team of experts. Besides the knife itself the item included a sword-blade, a can opener, an awl and a screw-driver. Swiss soldiers had an extreme need of the latter one due to the fact that right about that time the army was armed with new Schmidt-Rubin M1889 rifles that required a screw-driver to be assembled.Photo youtube.com
However, Elsener’s knife turned out to be much more expensive than the German analogue so it lost the competition spectacularly. Upon the failure many entrepreneurs dropped the idea; Elsener on the other hand went on with the experiments to create a model after a model and in five years of meticulous work he presented the perfect ‘officer’s knife’ to the army: lighter one and with even greater number of useful tools. The arsenal was increased by a cork-screw and blades on each side of the device, all held together by a special spring mechanism which was a know-how back in the days.Photo etsy.com
Realizing the value of own invention, Karl Elsener patented the unique product in 1897; the government however remained reluctant to place a large order. But the multi-functional tool instantly won hearts of the officers and number of individual orders was growing fast. After a while it became impossible to ignore Elsener and his creation so the businessman finally concluded a contract with the Swiss army to become the official supplier of knives for the soldiers. The knife had a substantial, even stylish look but only 12 years later the emblem emerged on its handle to become the signature of the brand that is familiar to people all over the world nowadays: a cross against the background of a shield that symbolizes the coat of arms of Switzerland. It was elaborated to distinguish authentic knives from numerous imitations and fakes that had already begun to flood the market. Karl’s mother Victoria died the same year, and the company adopted the name Victoria, and 12 years after that it was added by “inox” ending stating that Elsener’s company produces knives of stainless steel. This is how the brand got its present-day name Victorinox.Photo thegadgetflow.com
Till the end of the World War II Victorinox worked mainly for the Swiss Army and only thank to the American military Alpine army knives gained global fame. The US Army showed genuine interest in this practical good and established its supply for own soldiers. But by that time Victorinox were no longer the only player in the market. As far back as in 1908 another company with the same kind of product emerged to provide sizable competition to Elsener – Wenger. The thing is that Victorinox’s place of origin was German-speaking Schwytz while Wenger originated in French-speaking Courtetelle. In order to avoid the strain between the two cantons, the government decided to divide the contract between the two suppliers equally. Elsener didn’t have much choice but to make a deal with the competitor and live on in peace. For the time being, that is. Wenger went on to market as the “genuine Swiss Army knife” while Victorinox opted for the “original Swiss Army knife”. The giant managed to get its share of the market back and repay for the losses only in 2005 when Victorinox bought Wenger to become the only supplier of knives for the Swiss Army. Wenger-branded knives were still produced for some years (in smaller and smaller batches each year) but since 2014 their production was over. Elsener ultimately had the better of Germany, too – the country that used to supply the Swiss Army with huge consignments of folding knives now purchases them from Switzerland itself..Photo sakwiki.com
Nowadays, despite a pretty broad range of products (the company also produces army watches, pocket tool kits SwissCard, kitchen knives, tourism equipment and even clothes), Swiss knife remains the key product of Voctorinox and it gets the most of the attention. Each of them has 8 to 30-something functions now. The product evolved so greatly that most recent models have, for instance, memory cards with USB interface, light emitting diode and laser pointer, electronic watches and even an MP3-player. These gadgets enjoy popularity all over the world and are included into the list of standard NASA astronauts’ equipment. In 2009, for example, level of yearly sales of Victorinox produce constituted about 500 million Swiss Francs; also, there are over 1700 people employed at the plants of the company. Miniature knife Victorinox Classic along with its various variations is considered the most popular model of the brand. They are most often bought as a present. These tools have been tested during numerous tourist trips and professional expeditions.Photo victorinox.com
As we can see, the legendary Swiss knife has gone a long way to fame and currently men willingly use it not just in the army but also in everyday life. Victorinox won back its title of the largest folding knives producer in Europe and there are its representations and flagship stores all over the world from Europe to North America and Asia. Swiss knife has become a paragon in its trade sector and took a rightful place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Applied Arts Museum in Munich thus being presented among the best samples of industrial design.
If every historical event had its own unique fragrance, this very event would have been remembered to everyone thanks to its ineffable mixture of incense, sandalwood, musk, amber and myrrh. We are talking about the history of birth and development of Amouage perfume house or, as it is often called, Oman's Treasure.
Germans have other pets besides German Shepherds and in Boston not just Boston Terriers can be seen. People choose dogs relying on own preferences. But sometimes locals are too prone to having a certain breed so it becomes a distinctive of a location. Natural conditions, fashion and even set of mind contribute to it.
From the very first glance, Chupa Chups lollipop awakes considerable interest and curiosity, and the look of the swirly, colourful wrapper beckons and invites to open and lick it quickly. Today we will tell you success story of this goodies company and how was born the idea to create a world-famous candy. But first things first.
What was the secret of the first French fries with hamburger’s cost being 15 cents and why a flywheel of the first and only fast-food of 1960s wouldn’t have been set in motion if it hadn’t been for… mixers seller? Maurice and Richard (Mac and Dick) McDonalds, just like us, didn’t know answers to all these questions when they moved from New England to California in 1927. And behind the Great Depression was rubbing its hands expressively, at the edge of bringing to naught all of their aspirations. And then...
Despite ongoing development of air transport, many people across the Earth still love to travel by train for various reasons. Though the majority of passengers associate trains with a rather slow way to travel compared with airplanes, and are concerned with low comfort which can be still at the level of last century, reading through our selection below, you will definitely consider once again which means of transport you prefer to get to your destination.
Today OUTLOOK travels along the cities and countries that are considered as the most interesting from the point of view of geography and administrative management. Moreover, they are enclaves as they are located within the territories of other states.
It is an open secret that this world is full of paradoxes. Outlook, in its turn, tries to figure them out therefore today we’ll tell about armed forces of the world’s most militarized state that, however, hasn’t been at war with anyone for over two centuries. Our feature is about the army of Switzerland.
The most recognizable brand in the world and one of the oldest in France, Louis Vuitton is a symbol of luxury, elitism and aristocracy. It all began with high-quality suitcases, then proceeded to various kinds of bags and nowadays the brand produces everything: women's clothes, men's clothes, outfits for children, footwear and accessories. At that, currently Louis Vuitton doesn’t operate only in luxury segment - they have expanded their influence to pret-a-porter.
His greatest achievement is the creation of a long-lasting colour nail enamel. However, there are other significant inventions on his account: hair spray, waterproof mascara, liquid foundation cream... What would we do without Charles Revson, the exalted and wayward genius who did not have proper education? It was he who invented all these women's essentials and created the legendary Revlon.
Behind the window sad eyes of old man peered at Petrograd engulfed by revolutionary fire. This fire spread on his life's work: a proud four-story building was invaded by noisy commissioners and sailors, whose presence seemed a cruel joke after regular customers. Workshop owner Carl Gustavovich Fabergé, apparently, noticed in this chaos approaching decay of his career. However, he could have a secret gleam of hope for another life of his heritage. If only he knew that it would come true, maestro would hardly have lost his spiritual strength...
In February Switzerland changes beyond recognition: reckless power of pre-Lent carnivals, insatiable gluttony and cat’s choirs of Guggenmusik rush into the streets. Only evil spirits are kind of weak – same glamorous vampires and emaciated zombies. Want it to become really scary? Head to Lötschental Valley to celebrate Tschäggättä: infernal characters from Alpine folklore will haunt you in your dreams!
Today we invite you to join our trip to the resort part of Georgia, to vicinity of the beautiful and cosy Borjomi town, the birthplace of the legendary Borjomi mineral water. One of the most popular and healthy mineral waters of the world, has been bottled here for several centuries.
Dog sledding is a national passion in Switzerland: it is for a good reason that one of the best European camps for training sled dogs is located in the forest village of Saint-Cergue, nested behind the Jura mountain.
Spectacular show project Cirque du Soleil rocked the world of circus art to remind that circus can not only entertain but also create new reality. Crazy experiments on human body defy any power on gravity and miracle-plays of sound and light lure the audience into a twilight labyrinth of philosophical dramas letting them get to the sun together with characters of stagings.
The cars of trademark Maserati are not only for speed and reliability but also for the incredible feeling of style. Indeed, other famous brands cannot boast of similar stylish features even if they are aware of the subtleties of technologies and design. Outlook will tell you when and how they started creating the masterpieces on the wheels. As well, we’ll talk about the difficulties they faced and an overnight success they became.
He succeeded in understanding the boisterous spirit of the twentieth century to transform the ideals of the epoch in the fashionable fancies. Joy, speed, and easiness represent emotions that help to sell, but the recollections connected with the brand of Jean Patou will be verily like that.
He earned his first pesos dancing tango and the Charleston. Worked as a welder in Buenos Aires and stopped at nothing to collect his start-up capital. Obsessed workaholic, he always tried to look snob. Smiling with clients and unbearably demanding with colleagues. On birthday of Zino Davidoff, read in OUTLOOK a story of a Ukrainian-born budding violinist who gained for his brand quite literally royal audiences.
The history of this business empire started at a small home kitchen. For journalists, however, another story was coined with genteel background and high society pleasures, but they dug the truth out in 1985. By the time Estée Lauder owned a skyscraper in Manhattan, apartment in London and blue lagoon in Palm Beach.
Today Outlook tells about another inspiring example of how a dream can become a lifetime project. Creation of one of the most successful channels in history of television – Discovery Channel, followed by a huge media empire Discovery Communications, simply cannot but motivate to own great engagements.
Iliko, who devoted all his life to dancing, actually bequeathed to his descendants to do everything possible for his family name remained on posters forever. 70 years later, millions of people in hundreds of countries are buying tickets where in different languages, without translation one can easily read the name of Sukhishvili.