This little pocket knife is a “safety award” that belonged to my Great Uncle John Zabowski. He was a Chief Engineer on ore boats run by the Pittsburgh Steamship Company. Pittsburgh Steamship was started by Andrew Carnegie to service his steel company, and is a perfect example of how he came to control every aspect of his steel creation from the shipping of raw materials (ore from Minnesota in this case) to the final product. In short, he helped develop the business practice that became known as “vertical integration.” In the early 20th Century it was the largest Great Lakes shipping company, so large in fact that it was larger than most US ocean going shipping companies. The company was merged a few times over the years and the name finally disappeared in 1981 when it became part of USS Great Lakes Fleet.
The knife is a great little pocket size, and while looking to be in pretty good shape it does have one serious problem… Sadly it was in the attic of my cousin Gail’s house, in Michigan, which means it was exposed to heavy humidity and has rusted shut. I’ve tried a few times to open it up but to no avail. So if you have an idea on how to get it open, let me know. I’m all ears.