Original blue print of the textile mill that the Paolantonio brothers purchased in 1926 that would become the Colonial Knife Company
The building that the three bothers moved into at the corner of Agnes and Magnolia Streets was originally a textile mill, the blue print shows where the stables and wagon parking and repair ship were located.
Shown here are display cards of knives manufactured by Colonial Knife during the 1930s. Colonial Knife was the first in many of the marketing and selling of pocket and sport knives, for example, the "Dozen Card" concept proved extremely popular and profitable, no need for the traditional display case, the retail, most likely a candy tobacco retailer/general store would simply hang this dozen card display from behind the register or use the easel backing to allow customers to easily purchase a knife.
Swiss Master, Master Series, Sport Topper fish knife, Cub Hunter, Sporty,
Kitchen Aid to name a few.
Antonio Paolantonio traveling by air with the Colonial Knife director of sales for the West Coast.
Early 1950's construction of additional manufacturing space at Colonial Knife
Construction view from Dike Street looking South-the basement and first floor of what would become the packaging, shipping and receiving departments, the basement was used for storage of displays, packaging supplies, sheaths and similar items, the first floor would be for packaging of knives a.k.a. the finishing department-inspection shipping and receiving department. Image from early 1950's. The brothers knew their manufacturing facility would need to handle millions of knives annually and time is money, moving products and materials floor to floor is expensive in both time and money, eliminating the need for elevators, having all the manufacturing on one level meant a time savings that lead to faster production. Normal production time from when the steel arrived to the completion of a knife was approximately fours weeks so there was always partially completed knives throughout the factory. Steel came from a number of slitting mills peppered throughout New England, National Steel, Braintree Ma., Clifford Metals, Providence, RI, Newman Crosby Steel, Pawtucket, Rhode Island to name a few. The Steel would arrive at Colonial Knife in coils, 16-inch ID x 36-inch OD and weigh around a few thousand pounds, these coils, varied in thickness and width, the average thickness for blade steel was and still is .080-thick 1075 annealed cutlery high carbon steel . The coils would be hoisted into the press cradle for the 60-ton L & J stamping press that would stamp out 120 components every minute, we had four 60 ton press's plus three 40-ton press's and an assortment of smaller presses used for bending or cutting.
Colonial Knife company Christmas Party, 1950 at Camille's Roman Garden Restaurant, Providence, RI. The photo currently on our wall at the corporate office of Colonial Cutlery International, Inc.
Photo of Dominic, Fredrick and Antonio Paolantonio with their parents, my great grandparents
Photo of Antonio Paolantonio, my grandfather in his U.S. Army uniform, World War 1, Antonio served in the U.S. Cavalry as a blacksmith. The photo below is of Antonio probably prior to WW1
War Production Board presented this to Antonio Paolantonio for his service on the Industry Advisory Committee- United States of America War Production Board World War II, on behalf of a grateful Nation.
image below-press room department with the 60-ton L & J press
Polishing Department Foreman and his assistant image 1979, the machines shown are Clair machines, these would polish the blade steel to a mirror finish.
The photo below are the employees that worked in the Colonial Knife Tool room. Colonial Knife offered apprenticeship in tool making, wire EDM and CNC machines would make tool makers in our industry obsolete
The packaging department, every knife is inspected and cleaned prior to packaging
Colonial Cutlery International, Inc.
CAGE Code 3NZR8
Colonial Knife collectors knives, a division of Colonial Cutlery International, Inc.
Colonial Knife manufactures the toughest Knives Tools and Flashlights.
Product demonstration as to the strength of the Colonial Knife brand of knives and tools
Fourth generation James D Lent, grandson to "Jimmy" A.M.L. Paolantonio during booth setup at the 2010 Shot Show, Las Vegas Convention Center.