The Swiss Army Knife is a small, mulitpurpose tool
. There are many models from several manufacturers but Victorinox knives are the originals. Typically, the tools will have a knife
s, can opener
s, etc. Higher end models have plier
s and even altimeter
It was designed by Karl Elsener in 1884 in a Swiss village called Ibach. The Swiss Army took their first devlivery in 1891. Elsener continually developed the knife to have more functions and he made it lighter and stronger.
Global sales rocketed between 1945 and 1949 when the knives became available through the US army. In fact, it was American GI's who coined the phrase "Swiss Army Knife". The tool is now recognised in over 100 countries worldwide.
Elsener's company, Victorinox, is named after his mother (Victoria) and Inox, a type of stainless steel, used to manufacture the knives. They have over 100 models of Swiss Army Knife and manufacture 34 000 a day.
Victorinox now have a Cybertool model, which has tools for home computer repair.