The history of the Wiss® brand – delivering performance and durability for over 160 years In 1847, thirty year-old cutler and gunsmith Jacob Wiss immigrates to the United States from Switzerland. He opens a small shop in Newark, New Jersey, forging surgical instruments and shears. His firm prospers, and during the American Civil War, Wiss makes scissors for Union Army medical units and shears to cut uniforms. After Wiss dies in 1880, his sons take over. The company continues to grow, expanding its product offering to include several lines of shears and scissors, trimmers, pruning shears, and tin snips. Wiss replaces any broken product, regardless of the reason for damage, and a loyal customer following develops. In 1906, power drop hammers for hot forging the frames of steel shears are installed, making it possible to weld tough high-carbon steel blades to softer, more malleable steel. This new process makes Wiss shears and scissors virtually indestructible, and by 1914, Wiss is the world's largest producer of shears and scissors. World War I brings further growth when imports from European cutlery centers are halted. Production soars during the war and continues at a high level immediately after. Production peaks at more than two million pairs of shears and scissors per year, made in 250 different varieties. Wiss survives the Great Depression, and during World War II, products are converted to military applications: nail scissors prove ideal for the manufacture of precision radar and radio systems, metal snips are used building aircraft, and surgical scissors go to hospitals on every front. As sales revert to civilian markets after the war, Wiss compound action “aviation snips,” a key tool for cutting aircraft sheet metal during the war years, become a best seller. Wiss is acquired by Cooper Industries in 1976, and becomes part of its highly successful hand tool division. In 2010, Wiss becomes a brand of Apex Tool Group, a joint venture combining two premier hand tool manufacturers: Cooper Tools and Danaher Tool Group. Today, Wiss is a premier scissors, snips, and specialty trade tools brand from Apex Tool Group, one of the largest hand tool manufacturers in the world. Wiss has been the leading brand in aviation snips for over 50 years, driven by two simple principles: performance and durability. Wiss puts those same qualities into every product in its line. So no matter what Wiss tool you use, you can count on getting exceptional performance and long life.
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