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Puma Knives are synonymous with quality and structural integrity. The German Puma knives are still made in house at their shop in Solingen, Germany.
The Puma company has a long history. Puma-werk, Lauterjung & Sohn, has maintained family ownership for nearly 200 years. Johann Wilhelm Lauterjung had his first trademark entered into Solingen Maser Cutlers Guild as long ago as 1769. This is before the French Revolution and the invention of the steam engine.
In the earliest years the shop was located on the banks of the Wupper River where many of the early grinding mills settled. The use of water as a power source was the main reason to locate their. The grinding at that time was done on large natural stones.
The job was not easy or safe. These stones had a nasty habit of shattering without warning and many cutlers lost their life or were disabled by them. They also produced a powder that was inhaled and after many years led to a type of black Lung disease.
The invention of the steam engine changed the face of the cutlery industry. Although the steam engine was invented in the early 18th Century many of the Cottons (small workshop "cottages") still existed until the turn of the century or later. Nathanael Lauterjungen, great grandson of the founder, moved the company to Solingen during this time. The advent of the "modern" steam engine allowed the power source to be portable and the cutlers no longer depended on the Wupper River.
The small company made a variety of goods including razors, scissors, pocket knives, stilettos, hunting knives and sabers. After WWI Eugene and Franze Lauterjunge dedicated themselves to the business side of the company and decided to emphasize export as a mainstay of Puma.
After WWII the company would make another major change. Until the 1940s Puma still made a lot of scissors and razors and other metal wares. But in the late 1940s Olswald Von Frankenberg Und Ludwigsdorf reorganized the company. An avid hunter and Sportsman Olswald Von Frankenberg Und Ludwigsdorf changed the production over to the production of hunting, fishing and outdoors knives. This moved proved to define the company that the world now knows simply as Puma. The full name is Puma-werk, Laughterjunger & Sohn.
Puma knives are still primarily made by hand in Solingen, Germany much as they have been for 200 years. Although the power source has developed from water to steam to electricity, the basic method of production is still a human being and a grinding wheel.
Puma has two ranges of knives that they produce now. The Puma brand knives are still made in Solingen, Germany. The Puma IP line is made in Spain and Asia under the strict control of Puma Germany.
The following is from a pamphlet produced by Puma in 1967:
PUMA-WERK, Lauterjung & Sohn, currently employing about 100 highly qualified staff members, has remained in family ownership since its foundation over 200 years ago. Johann Wilhelm Lauterjung had his first trade mark entered into the renouwned Solingen Maser Cutlers Guild register as long as 1769, before the French Revolution and the invention of the steam engine.
Using this trade mark a long fruitful period of hardworking craftmanship followed for the founder working together with his son, Johann Wilhelm Lauterjung (1755-1820), and the grandson Nathanael Lauterjung (1784-1839), in a cottage alongside the Wupper river. Solingen's craftsmen had very early learned to harness the water power of the Wupper to drive their grinding stones.
In the Lauterjung workshop the first famous knives were, at that time, ground on heavy natural stones. At the beginning of the nineteenth century thre were still 93 grinding cottages and six drophammer forging shops in operation, for cutlery products, along the Wupper and its seven tributary streams. The invention of the steam engine also led to structural changes within the cutlery industry.
More and more firms moved into the centre of the, then still small, town of Solingen. Thus Nathanael Lauterjung (1815-1865), a great-grandson of the founder, also moved his company to Solingen. This workship rapidly expanded so that Ernest Otto Lauterjung (1855-1931) was able to set up the company's first small factory.
At that time special care was taken to manufacture various items of cutlery of particularly high quality. The programme included razors, but also "cold arms", such as stillettos, hunting knives and sabres. Valuable handpainted catalogues still convey an impression of this varied range of cutlery.
The next generation, Eugen Lauterjung (1883-1969) and Franz Lauterjung (1888-1976), entered the company after the First World War. They were the first members of the family to be "just" businessmen.
Under their influence, the sales emphasis turned increasingly to export, making considerable increases in production necessary. The two directors adopted various measures in order to cope effectively with this demand. A large building was erected which still serves as the main factory building even today.
From then on the PUMA-WERK in Solingen had two places of production. Both were equipped with efficient machines to provide the necessary assistance for those processes carried out by hand in order to cioe with the increasing production of fine cutlery.
Apart from that, the company abandoned the, then still, common practice of home labour in the cottages of the surrounding district and changed the whole production to craftsmen within their own factory.
This move was a sensation at the time in Solingen. The transition to a more progressive method of working immedieately showed in an improvement in quality. Iat was now possible to control all stages of production directly within the factory.
After the Second World War a fundamental change took place in the PUMA-WERK. With the entry of Oswald von Frankenberg and Ludwigsdorf into the company, the production programme was reorganized completely. As an experience hunter, well-aquainted with the special needs of hunting all over the world, Oswald von Frankenberg and Ludwigsdorf systematically switched over production to specialize in the manugacture of knives for hunting, fishing and sport outdoors.
Production of razors and haircutting scissors was reduced. In close cooperation with Walter Frevert, a well known senior forest ranger (among other things he was in charge of the state-owned forest range of Roninten and was for many years president of the International Bloodhoung Association), Patented hunting knives were produced which, without exception, are adapted to the customs in specific hunting areas in the world.
On the basis of a carefully planned range of products, and by still continuing to employ tradition production methods, it soonb prove possible for the PUMA-WERK Lauterjung & Sohn company to make a break through in the international market. Today the company occupies a deading position in the hunting, fishing and sporting knives sector.
In 1967 Mrs. Renate Von Frankenberg took over the company as a general partner from her father Franz Lauterjung. This means that the PUMA-WERK is now in the sixth generation of family ownership, with the Lauterjung family also directly responsible for the company's running right from its inception.
The company has also in the meantime expanded for the fifth time with a further new building. Production conditions have been so arranged that the highly skilled workers have modern and friendly working facilities at their disposal. However, PUMA still takes great care to cultivate tradition.
High quality cuttlery goods are produced in the factory in exactly the same way as 200 years ago, with moder technology to assist the skills of craftmanship. It is thsu little wonder that the knives from the PUMA company are undisputedly considered as being among the leading products of their kind in the world, both with regard to their craftsmanship and finish, and also their uselfulness.
Whether this is with regard to the wide range of hunting knives, or knives for use on expedition, for mountain climbing or for camping, or just special nives for sport fishing, sailing and diving, each individual knive is characterized by its superb quality.
First class handwork and well-selected material have formed the image of the PUMA trademark all over the world, as the following small selection from the range of knives show.
"Blades" that speak for themselves:
Hunting nives from PUMA-WERK have long since become a hallmark for quality for the hunter and the forester as an indispensable requisite for daily use.
It has been shown that these knives have been developed on the basis of practical experience and that, apart from high quality, they also quarantee advantages with regard to their application techniques and their longevity.
In view of their robust construction and their manifold field of application, PUMA hunting knives are also extremely popular among nature lovers, gardeners, farmers, mountain climbers, etc. Even the "man in the street" appreciates these special knife models, not least on account of the high prestige attached to a knife with the PUMA emblem.
There are essentially three types of knives which come into consideration for practical hunting purposes: The folding hunting knife, then the fixed-blade group of hunting knives, and finally the cold weapons and matchetes.
A well-tested model is, for instance, the "Original PUMA Waidblatt", developed in cooperation with Senior Forest Ranger Frevert. The broad, heavy-duty blade with its weight well towards the point is the most important feature for a heavy hunting knife, which is also suitable for dressing and gutting game.
Please check out our selection of Puma Knives.