The Wiss brand was initially started in 1847 when thirty year-old cutler and gunsmith Jacob Wiss immigrates to the United States from Switzerland. Jacob Wiss opened his own small shop in a former stable on Bank Street, forging surgical instruments and shears.
Wiss & Sons
In the 1870s his two sons, Frederick C. J. Wiss and his younger brother Louis are brought into the business at an early age and the firm's name is changed to Wiss & Sons Company. During World War I further growth and production soared to plant capacity and continued at a high level immediately after and by the late 1920s production peaked at more than two million pairs of shears and scissors per year, made in 250 different varieties.
The Great Depression
Frederick Wiss dies in 1931 and is succeeded as president by his older son Robert, unfortunately as the Great Depression takes a heavy economic toll, sales dropped to almost nothing and working hours had to be cut drastically in response. When the nation began its slow recovery, Wiss encouraged sales by introducing new lines of industrial cutting tools to their range.
A Best Seller
By the Late 1940s - As sales revert to civilian markets after the war the Company's position strengthens and Wiss compound action "aviation snips" a key tool for cutting aircraft sheet metal during the war years, became a best seller. In 1970 business continues to grow and the construction of a warehouse, manufacturing facility, and a new office is completed. Wiss also buys the Boker Manufacturing Company's factory and becomes producer of the renowned Boker "Tree Brand" pocket and hunting knives.
A Specialist Brand
Wiss is acquired by Cooper Industries, Inc. in 1976 and becomes part of The Cooper Group. Then In 2010 Wiss becomes a brand of the Apex Tool Group, a joint venture combining two premier tool manufacturers: Cooper Tools and Danaher Tool Group. Today Wiss continues to be hugely successful as a specialty trade tools brand from Apex Tool Group and has been the leading brand in aviation snips for over 75 years.