Born 125 Years Ago, the Swiss Army Knife Remains a Staple

How a multifunctional pocket blade from Switzerland became quintessentially American

Learn the ins, outs, dos and don’ts of creator marketing at Social Media Week Europe this 10–11 October in London. Register for your in-person or virtual pass.

In September 1945, the U.S. armed forces commenced Operation Magic Carpet, the mass demobilization of American soldiers who’d fought in World War II. Some 20,000 troops a day boarded ships bound for home. In their rucksacks, many of the men carried souvenirs like battle flags, helmets and even grenades.

Those who’d fought in Europe frequently packed a memento called the offiziersmesser. A metal gadget that fit neatly into a pocket, it held an array of fold-out tools including a screwdriver, can opener, saw blade, tiny pair of scissors and knife.




Subscribe today!

To Read the Full Story Become an Adweek+ Subscriber

View Subscription Options

Already a member? Sign in

Adweek magazine cover
Click for more from this issue

This story first appeared in the Aug. 1, 2022, issue of Adweek magazine. Click here to subscribe.