The Story of Hen & Rooster
Conceived and hand-made in about 1845, the Hen & Rooster® brand had a modest beginning as the notion of Carl Bertram. Mr. Bertram was a well known owner of a poultry business in Solingen, Germany where he began manufacturing his own line of cutlery. Because of his association with the poultry industry in the surrounding communities, Bertram adopted the now famous Hen & Rooster® logo to mark his brand in about 1865. The small cutlery manufacturing facility of old has produced what many consider to be some of the “Worlds Finest Cutlery Since 1845”. The Hen & Rooster® logo is synonymous with high grade cutlery and superior workmanship exemplified by each manufactured knife. Over two hundred hand operations go into the creation of these superior knives. Only pocket knives manufactured by master cutlers from Solingen, Germany devoted to the details of polishing, fit, and finish of each product, earn the right to bear the Hen & Rooster® logo.
Carl Bertram's company continued manufacturing its fine cutlery under the leadership of several family members for many years. The original firm manufactured contract knives with Hen & Rooster on one side of the blade tang, and numerous other names on the reverse side. Bertram made these knives in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s for Carter Cutlery, Carter, Jeffrey, Kane, Voss, John-I-Son, Ky-Col, Gutmann Cutlery, Fife Cutlery, Mar-cal, A.G. Russell, L & N Loan Co. and Field & Co. All of these knives bear the Hen & Rooster markings. Knives marked “*Germany*” were produced in approximately 1980.
In 1975, the firm was purchased by A.G. Russell of Springdale, Arkansas. Mr. Russell’s company owned the Bertram Hen & Rooster® manufacturing facility, and brand for a five year span. During this time Mr. Russell produced Hen & Rooster knives & knives bearing his own trademark. He also made many contract knives for other firms bearing the Hen & Rooster® logo on one side of the blade tang and the contract’s firm name on the reverse side. The firm continued to be managed by a member of Mr. Russell’s family under his leadership until approximately 1980 when the factory in Solingen, Germany closed.
In 1983, the firm was liquidated, and the Hen & Rooster trademark and the Bertram name were acquired by James Frost of Frost Cutlery, Chattanooga, Tennessee; Howard Rabin of Star Sales, of Knoxville, Tennessee; and Hugo Schiesen of Robert Klaas, out of Solingen, Germany. After a short period of time, and prior to the retirement of Howard Rabin, Mr. James Frost bought the sole rights to the mark and distribution of all Hen & Rooster knives in the United States. Mr. Frost holds firm to the long distinguished tradition begun by Mr. Bertram; ensuring the superior craftsmanship of each Hen & Rooster knife. These pocket knives continue to be manufactured by highly skilled craftsman in Solingen, Germany. Through it's reputation of excellence, Hen & Rooster® continues carries the title of “World’s Finest Since 1845”.