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#356957 01/12/2023 06:25 PM
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In Jan. 2020, I won an eBay auction for a vintage multi-blade pocketknife made by "J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen". The seller told me it dated to about 1880-1910 and the maker was listed in the new Goins book. After buying the Goins book I found the seller was wrong. I next bought J. Anthony Carter's book and found this maker, "J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" was also not in this book. I did find a web site with a table knife by "J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" was in the Baden-Wurttemberg State Museum. So, I sent an e-mail to the Museum asking what the given name of J. Wetzel was, and I got a reply from Alexander Rohm M. A., Stadt Tuttlingen, Schulen, Sport und Kultur, Stadtarchiv. They explained there was a Johannes Wetzel (old) 1806-1887, and Johannes Wetzel (young) 1831-1903, in a register of tradesmen in 1866, and my knife probably dated from 1850-1900. Alexander Rohm also gave me the e-mail of Mr. Kaeshammer, an advanced knife collector in Germany who wanted to buy my knife. Mr. Kaeshammer wrote saying: "You probably don't want to sell your knife because it has your name on it" and of course he was correct. I have since traded an antique Optimo Panama hat to Mr. Kaeshammer for another "J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" farmer's knife from his collection. Both of these knifes have horn handles. A friend of Mr. Kaeshammer has two pearl handle "J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" knives. I also have 1/2 of a brown razor box marked "J. Wetzel Sohn, Messerfabrikant" in my collection. My multi-blade "J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" knife is in excellent condition and also has scissors. This knife was first listed on eBay for $450.00 and was reduced twice before I won the auction for a very good price.

J. Wetzel sohn, Tuttlingen, pocket knife 001.jpg (36.48 KB, 146 downloads)
J. Wetzel Sohn (son), Tuttlingen, Horn handle, multi-blade Gentleman-farmer's knife.
J. Wetzel sohn, Tuttlingen, collection of Mr. Kashammer 001.jpg (79.7 KB, 146 downloads)
J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen, farmers knife, ex-collection of Mr. Kaeshammer.
J. Wetzel sohn, Messerfabrik, Razor box 001.jpg (13.78 KB, 147 downloads)
"J. Wetzel, Messerfabrikant" razor box
05131327167 J. Wetzel, table knife.jpg (14.71 KB, 147 downloads)
"J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" table knife
E-MAIL from the state museum, Baden- Wurttemberg 001.jpg (61.29 KB, 147 downloads)
E-mail reply from Alexander Rohm, Baden-Wurttemberg Stadt Museum, Tuttlingen, Germany.
Last edited by C. Wetzel-20609; 01/12/2023 06:27 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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Very nice. Georg Wetzel was issued the RZM number M2/139 for metal parts and supplies.

Gerog Wetzel.jpg (8.74 KB, 140 downloads)

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Contact me at Vern@GermanDaggers.com
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Have you been able to trace your ancestry back to any of these cutlers ?

Dave

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I have traced my family back to my 5th great grandfather, Johann "Jacob" Wetzel (I)-3515 (1718-1785) last of Hereford Twp. Berks County, PA. who arrived from Germany at Phil'd. (Qualified) on Oct. 8, 1737. His log home was built in 1743 and stood until 1936. Alexander Rohm has a friend on Ancestry.com in Germany who thinks my ancestor came from the Alsace region. Charles Kerchner-1, Commander, Navy, Retired, of Emmaus, PA. is the author of "Descendant charts for some Wetzels of S. E. PA." and gave me my Wetzel reference number, -20609. My father, Calvin J. Wetzel Sr-20610 is listed on the public chart. Charles Kerchner's relation married into my family in 1773. Charles Kerchner is my "6th cousin" and no longer is researching my Wetzel family and now refers questions to me. It is possible that "J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" is a distant relation. My Wetzel DNA is R-M 269 the other early Wetzel family members are G-M 201.

Wetzel Family Homestead (1).jpg (58.75 KB, 135 downloads)
The 1743 Wetzel log house was in present day Berks Co. PA. and stood until 1936.
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Hey Vern, thanks for the picture of the G. Wetzel RZM mark. I did see that it was listed in J. Anthony Carter's book.

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Thanks. Genealogy can be interesting

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Here are two "J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" pearl handle knives from Mr. Kaeshammer's friend, Hans Peter (given name only). The bottom one has the same bolsters as mine but has no scissors. The top one looks like it has a fancy filed back spring.

IMG_0440.jpg (47.11 KB, 126 downloads)
"J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" from Hans Peter (front)
IMG_0445.jpg (35.82 KB, 126 downloads)
"J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" from Hans Peter (back)
IMG_0441.jpg (53.01 KB, 123 downloads)
"J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" from Hans Peter (maker mark).
Last edited by C. Wetzel-20609; 01/12/2023 11:58 PM. Reason: spelling correction
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I just took these pictures of my "J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" multi-blade pocketknife. The seller thought that the pruning blade was a can opener.

IMG-0747.jpg (29.37 KB, 122 downloads)
IMG-0748.jpg (37.73 KB, 115 downloads)
IMG-0749.jpg (39.31 KB, 111 downloads)
Last edited by C. Wetzel-20609; 01/13/2023 04:56 AM. Reason: edited pictures corrected
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Mr. Kaeshammer sent me pictures of the 1866 Tuttlingen Tradesmen directory. Note that the surname, Wetzel is spelled as "Wezel". According to Mr. Kaeshammer the early maker mark of "J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" used the surname "Wezel" as it is listed in 1866. However, he has not produced an example or photograph. Alexander Rohm used "Wezel / Wetzel" in his e-mail letter to me.

In the U.S.A. my surname from my family tree has been found as: Wetzel, Wetzell, Wetsel, Whetsel, Whetzel and Whitsell. To a novice this can be confusing.

I have found another family surname of mine: Sarlous, spelled with at least six variations. The original Dutch spelling was Saarloos.

I have asked Mr. Kaeshammer if he has actually seen the early "Wezel" mark on a knife or is it only found in the 1866 Tradesmen directory, which may be a misspelling.

Mr. Kaeshammer sent this e-mail after the new pictures I took: "Calvin. Now you have several collections. Very different. That is great. The Wetzel knife is really wonderful. Bauernmesser with a corkscrew you see not very often. And this corkscrew is of high quality. The whole knife is a very fine one. The scales are tortoise as far as I can see. And the bolsters I like too. And the stamping is well done".

Cover, 1866 Tuttlingen Tradesmen 001.jpg (42.56 KB, 102 downloads)
Cover, 1866 Tuttlingen Tradesmen
1866 Tuttlingen Tradesmen 001.jpg (36.82 KB, 103 downloads)
1866 Tuttlingen Tradesmen, Johannes "Wezel" Alt. (old) und Jung (young).
Letter from Alexander Rohm 001.jpg (30.12 KB, 102 downloads)
Letter from Alexander Rohm, Tuttlingen, Germany.
Last edited by C. Wetzel-20609; 01/13/2023 04:15 PM. Reason: added more information
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Mr. Kaeshammer sent this picture of a "H. Wezel" knife in the Tuttlingen Museum. Note that Heinrich Wezel is listed above Johannes Wezel, Alt. And so, although it is not marked with Tuttlingen it probably is true that the spelling variation of "Wezel / Wetzel" was used.

Mr. Kaeshammer sent me this e-mail: Yes I have an image of a butcher knife made by Wezel. I shot a photo in the Tuttlingen Museum. Without „t“. I am quite sure that in the early 19th they wrote Wezel and later they added the t. As many names changed during these times. Many people wrote like they wanted. Like they listened to it. For them it was right. Regards.

IMG_0910.jpg (19.85 KB, 92 downloads)
H. Wezel knife from the Tuttlingen Museum.
1866 Tuttlingen Tradesmen 001.jpg (36.82 KB, 92 downloads)
1866 Tuttlingen Tradesmen, Heinrich Wezel.
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This is the "J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" Bauernmesser (farmers knife) that I got from Mr. Kaeshammer for an antique Optimo Panama hat.

IMG_4219.jpeg (23.97 KB, 67 downloads)
"J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" (Bauernmesser).
IMG_0291.jpg (13.83 KB, 67 downloads)
"J. Wetzel Sohn, Tuttlingen" (Bauernmesser) back.
Last edited by C. Wetzel-20609; 01/16/2023 05:32 PM.

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