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Vintage Champlin Display Cases

Vintage Champlin Display Cases

Here’s an short but enlightening newspaper clip that sheds an interesting light on how important display cases were to JBF Champlin’s early business strategies.

 

“The Olean Democrat

April 21, 1885

Morgan Niles has a contract from J.B.F. Champlin to build 400 shear and scissor cases for the Cattaraugus Cutlery Company. This company seems to be doing fine and increasing business which we are glad to report.”

400 cases for Cattarugus Culterly in 1885?  Wow, they must have been in every store in that part of the country.  Of course long before JBF had display cases made with the “Cattaraugus” brand on them he was using cases made for his jobbing firm under it’s original name, “J.B.F. Champlin” followed by “J.B.F. Champlin & Son”.  We presently do not have any idea of how many of those cases were made as only a few have survived to delight collectors and historians.  Here are a few examples of existing display cases that we are aware of.

Early J.B.F. Champlin counter display case.

Early J.B.F. Champlin counter display case.

This early J.B.F. Champlin display case has a crinkly old patina. This would have been used before the company name was expanded to include the “& Son” designation. The stencils read “WARRANTEE UNIMITED” on the front and back.  “J.B.F. CHAMPLIN’S GALVANIC SCIOSSORS AND SHEARS” appear on each side.

 

 

Stencil reads: J.B.F. CHMALIN'S GALVANIC SCISSORS & SHEARS

Stencil reads:
J.B.F. CHAMPLIN’S GALVANIC
SCISSORS & SHEARS

 

This particular case lived in a barbershop in Owego, Pennsylvania for over 100 years.  The middle spindle is missing.  At some point glass shelves were added to replace the spindle. This case was sold at auction when the barbershop closed and was purchased by Robert Jacobs, who was kind enough to sell it to Derek Smith.

case_867 As you can see, the case is not large. It measures 26 inches tall and the base is 14 inches by 14 inches.  The top is slightly larger at 14.75 X 14.75 inches.

 

Right side of display.

Right side of display.

 

 

Here is another early Champlin display case.  The spindle is missing in this one as well.  This piece is from Michael Losicco’s personal collection.

Early J.B.F. Champlin counter display

Early J.B.F. Champlin counter display

 

 

The same stencil appears on the front and back

The same stencil appears on the front and back

The Stencil reads “WARRANTEE UNLIMITED” on both the front and back side of the case.

 

This stencil appears on both sides of the case.

This stencil appears on both sides of the case.

The stencil on both sides read “J.B.F CHAMPLIN’S GALVANIC SCISSORS & SHEARS”.

 

 

Early Champlin display case, left side

Early Champlin display case, left side

This display case was discovered in an old hardware store in Elmira, NY by Kevin Reiman.

 

Most collectors appreciate vintage knives more than they do razors and scissors.  It’s interesting to note that these very early display cases say “Scissors & Shears” on them and make no mention of knives or razors.

 

 

JBF Champlin & Son Galvanic store display

JBF Champlin & Son
Galvanic store display

This amazing store display is 31 inches tall and 13.5 inches square.  It is marked J.B.F. CHAMPLIN AND SON. It was sold by “Showtime Auction Services” in Woodhaven, Michigan.

 

JBF Champlin & Son counter top store display.

JBF Champlin & Son
counter top store display.

This store display is also marked “J.B.F CHAMPLIN AND SON” and perfectly matches the graphic illustration in the Cattaraugus billhead below. It is 33.75 inches tall by 15 inches square. This case was also sold by “Showtime Auction Services”.

 

Cattaraugus bill head

Cattaraugus bill head

A fellow could easily assume or speculate that they decided to use the illustration of the familiar JBF CHAMPLIN & SON display case on the new Cattaraugus invoices to help their customers get accustomed to the transition in company names.

The contrast in the above bill head has been enhanced to bring out the details of the illustration.   Even though the case is marked “Scissors” it is nice to see that it contains pocket knives and kitchen cutlery in addition to scissors. (This particular bill head is dated Sept. 30 1891).

 

 

Cattaraugus Counter Display

Cattaraugus Counter Display Case

Eventually the stencils on the displays were changed from “JBF champlin & Son” to “Cattaraugus Cutlery Co.”  This image came from an online auction.

 

 

Cattaraugus Store Display

Cattaraugus Store Display

I found the photos of this case online somewhere, probably ebay.  I don’t know if the glass shelves are original or not. Front and back of the display are marked “Cattaraugus Cutlery Co.”.

 

Back of Cattaraugus Display

Back of Cattaraugus Display

 

Both sides of the case are marked “Scissors and Shears”.

Both sides of display are marked in the same fashion.

Both sides of display are marked in the same fashion.

 

Back of Cattaraugus display with door

Back of Cattaraugus display with door

 

If you have a Champin display case in your collection, we would love to see photos!

 

Cattaraugus also used these fan shaped counter top display cases for razors.

Cattaraugus Razor Display

Cattaraugus Razor Display

 

Cattaraugus Razor Display

Cattaraugus Razor Display

 

Cattaraugus Razor Display

Cattaraugus Razor Display

 

Cattaraugus Razor Display

Cattaraugus Razor Display

 

Cattaraugus Razor Display

Cattaraugus Razor Display

 

Judging from the fancy hinges, I would guess this was an older display case.

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