Knowing that his country's army knives mattered, Karl Elsener, owner of a surgical equipment company in the Swiss town of Ibach Schwyz, invented the Knife Officers which would become the first Swiss Army knife in 1897.

Lightweight, easy to carry and sturdy, the piece had blades on both sides of the frame, an innovation for its time, and its functions: a large and a small blade, puncher, can opener, screwdriver and corkscrew.