Henry W. Brands—the first of three generations of the Brands family who would operate this Portland manufacturer and distributor—founded Coast Cutlery Company in 1919. For several years, Mr. Brands had worked as a sales manager for a large wholesale hardware company in the Midwest. While in this position, he traveled to the Northwest and found it to be a land of opportunity. He transferred to Portland, Oregon in 1915. Brands traveled to large and small towns throughout the Northwest selling hardware products—including cutlery—to local merchants. During this time, Brands received numerous requests from his customers for special types of knives, including fillet knives for Northwest salmon fishermen and working knives for loggers. Brands decided that he could supply these knives himself by founding Coast Cutlery, one of the nation’s first cutlery companies.