1877 - 1918
The two brothers John and Henrie Clauss, of German origin, started Elyria Shear Works from a one-room building in Elyria, Ohio. Together with five employees, they began manufacturing scissors, shears, straight razors and serrated kitchen knives
1919 - 1945
In 1919, Clauss Shear merged with Henkel Company, also from Fremont, Ohio, to create Henkel-Clauss Company. Henkel Company was founded in 1906 to manufacture manicure and pedicure implements, files, knives, shears and razors. The Henkel-Clauss merger created a company with over 1,000 employees and had the largest payroll in the United States at that time. John Clauss didn live long to enjoy that success as he died later that same year.
In the early 1920s the cutlery business faced a serious setback as Germany was permitted to export shears and scissors duty free to the United States.
The idea behind this was to help Germany pay back its World War I debts. As a consequence, German shears were sold at half the price of American made shears. Despite the fierce German competition, Fremont counted twenty-five cutlery businesses and was rightfully known as the "Cutlery Center of the World".
1946 - 1966
After World War II, Clauss was unable to compete with European firms producing household scissors and other simple products because wages were much lower in Europe. So the company had no other choice than to shift its focus to industrial scissors. Unfortunately, Clauss continued to struggle as much of its sales were to industries in decline or to businesses where automation was reducing the need for scissors.
In 1954 the corporate name was changed to Clauss Cutlery Company to eliminate the confusion with the German cutlery firm J.A. Henckels