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He incurred financial losses doing so, as Wester & Co was able to produce the knives at a lower cost.
Elsener was on the verge of bankruptcy when, in 1896, he developed an improved knife, intended for the use by officers, with tools attached on both sides of the handle using a special spring mechanism, allowing him to use the same spring to hold them in place.
Wenger has advertised as the Genuine Swiss Army Knife and Victorinox used the slogan, the Original Swiss Army Knife.
In 1921, as the company started using stainless steel, Elsener's son, Carl Elsener, renamed the company to "Victorinox", incorporating the abbreviation "inox" for acier inoxydable, the French term for stainless steel.
They further elaborated that an assortment of items from the Wenger line-up will remain in production under the Victorinox brand name.
Wenger's US headquarters will be merged with Victorinox's location in Monroe, Connecticut.
While the handle of the Swiss Army Knife is usually depicted in its traditional red color, other colors, textures, and shapes have appeared since 2006.
Many commercial Victorinox and Wenger Swiss Army knives can be immediately distinguished by the cross logos depicted on their grips; the Victorinox cross logo is surrounded by a shield while the Wenger cross logo is surrounded by a slightly rounded square.
Victorinox registered the words "Swiss Army" and "Swiss Military" as a trademark in the US.
The Swiss Army Knife was not the first multi-use pocket knife.
In 1851 in "Moby Dick" (chapter 107), Melville references the "Sheffield contrivances, assuming the exterior - though a little swelled - of a common pocket knife; but containing, not only blades of various sizes, but also screw-drivers, cork-screws, tweezers, awls, pens, rulers, nail-filers, countersinkers." In January 1891, the knife received the official designation Modell 1890.