1632 September 1

To: Burgermeister und Guild Masters von Solingen

Solingen, Westphalia

Greetings be unto you, the Burgermeister und Guild Masters von Solingen;

Ich bin Meister Lawrence Farha. I head the RAND Group of Grantville. I have taken the opportunity of retaining the Abrabanel family to represent my interests to you.

The swords you make have a centuries old reputation both now and in the future world, where Grantville has come from. I offer you the singular opportunity to manufacture distinctive products from the future. If this business proposition is successful, I have other items that may be offered in partnership.

I have sent two items for you to examine. Both of these classic pieces have important military applications. The KA-BAR knife was the signature combat knife of the United States Marine Corps. The United States Marine Corps was an elite military fighting unit of the future. The KA-BAR could be wielded as a combat knife or if slightly modified, attached to a musket or rifle as a bayonet.

The Swiss Army Knife could easily be renamed the Solingen or Swedish Army Knife. This knife is a smaller, multiple use tool. There are many types as shown in the accompanying brochure. I would recommend the one with a single blade, a screwdriver and file, and a saw blade. I also have some ideas on marketing these products.

If you agree to my proposal and we reach a negotiated contract, you can use these examples as working models. In addition I can provide information on how to increase your productivity and profit.

If you choose not to accept this offer I request all items be returned to my representatives and I will pursue discussions with less skilled Guild Masters elsewhere.

I regret that I am unable to come to present my proposal in person as my health is delicate. I look forward to hearing your reply.

Lawrence Farha

Chairman, RAND Group

Grantville

1632 October 13

TO: Meister Lawrence Farha

Chairman, RAND Group

Grantville

Greetings Meister Farha,

We, the Burgermeister and Guild Masters, are intrigued and honored by your proposal. We can make the pieces as evidenced by our first attempts which you now have in your possession. A small minority of the Guild Masters are firmly against any changes in our manufacturing process. In contrast, your representative has expounded on the benefits to Solingen. To our dismay, your representative is also discussing these benefits with journeymen, apprentices and local Committees of Correspondence.

If you are willing to invest 750 guilders, we are agreeable to this proposal. Please have your lawyers contact our lawyers to concluded this contract.

Burgermeister

Guild Master for Grinders

Guild Master for Cutlers

Guild Master for Sword Makers

Guild Master for Temperers

1633 Februar 12

TO: Mister Lawrence Farha

Grantville

Our representatives have returned from Grantville with distressing information.

The lodging provided for the apprentice and journeymen was far beyond what they needed. They could certainly have shared a room.

The tour of the “machine shop” offends our sensibilities. Using machine to do the work a fine craftsman does is an abomination. The fact this would improve production is meaningless.

The meeting with your local expert, Master Peter Jones was illuminating. His description on how metalwork could be polished to the high gloss sheen was informative.

The informal evenings our journeymen and apprentice spent at the Thuringen Gardens have made our blood boil. We keep hearing about unions, shares, and working conditions. They are now spreading these impossible tales to others through the Committees of Correspondence.

Finally, the presentation from the owner of the Higgins Sewing Machine Company proves an outrageous point. The owner, Karl Schmidt, told us of how a group of mere children, both boys and girls, started playing at being serious businessmen. Of how this firm became successful but needed to be bought by him for his survival. Of how this sewing machine has incurred the wrath of the Tailors Guild.

Now we come to you. You are not the established businessman we expected, no matter how you object. You are a young, sickly man, barely 20 years old. We are shocked and dismayed by your deception. We are seriously discussing our options.

Burgermeister

Guild Master for Grinders

Guild Master for Cutlers

Guild Master for Sword Makers

Guild Master for Temperers

Hardegg, Selfisch & Krapp

Attorneys-at-Law

1633 Marz 7

To: Burgermeister und Guild Masters von Solingen

Solingen, Westphalia

Greetings to the Honorable Burgermeister und Guild Masters von Solingen,

We applaud your stupidity. Only village idiots employ lawyers that have problems reading a contract the way yours have. If you choose to fight this contract, we and even our children will prevail, no matter how long your lawyers try to drag this out.

We ask you to find someone in your village that can read. Then have them read, on the third page, section 6, subsection 2 describing the penalties to be inflicted by us when you attempt to break this contract.

We eagerly look forward to embarrassing you in court.

In rapt anticipation,

Stefan Hardegg

Attorney at Law

1633 April 1

TO: Lawrence Farha

Grantville

Mister Farha,

All the Guild Masters remain incensed by your actions to dupe us. What else could we expect from a boy barely able to dress himself. Your lawyers though, are as tenacious as pigs rooting for truffles. Because of their bullying and threats we realize you have left us no option but to terminate this contract. We accept the pox ridden penalty clause you inserted in the contract. We have sent the payment to your lawyers.

We expect to hear no further from you or your lawyers. We have also found it incumbent on us to inform other Guild Masters of your deception.

Burgermeister

Guild Master for Grinders

Guild Master for Cutlers

Guild Master for Sword Makers

Guild Master for Temperers

1633 April 15

TO: Burgermeister und Guild Masters von Solingen

Greetings Gentlemen,

My able team of lawyers have informed me that you agreed to pay the penalty to escape from our legal contract. They also inform me that, based on their reading of the contract, I can still manufacture under the name Solingen Messer Werks. I am obliged to demand any design patterns, metal blanks, partial or finished items replicating the items I have shown you, now and for the next ten years. I fully understand that this will not be to your liking.

I offer this compromise that my lawyers are willing to spell out in an addendum to our contract. I will not use the name of Solingen and I will specifically make known to all that my company’s metall werks are not from Solingen. I also require you not to compete with my company in making copies of my products. I am willing to do this for an additional 100 guilders.

Your competitor in business,

Lawrence Farha

Solingen Messer Werks

Grantville

1633 Mai 5

TO: Lawrence Farha

Grantville

Mister Farha,

We reluctantly agree to your dictates. The company name, Solingen Messer Werks, is now and forever owned by Solingen.

May you be unable to find skilled craftsmen or a site to produce the knives.

Burgermeister

Guild Master for Grinders

Guild Master for Cutlers

Guild Master for Sword Makers

Guild Master for Temperers

The Street—Finances For Our Times

1633 September 7

Business News

The recently formed Uberzeit Metall Werks presented their first reproductions of the famous uptime KA-BAR combat knife and Soldat Messer #1 to the offices of King Gustav II Adolph and President Mike Stearns.

The KA-BAR combat knife features a silver tang and pommel with a silver filigree engraving of the Vasa coat of arms on the blade. A sheath of the finest black leather with silver studding was included.

The Soldat Messer #1 features polished burled oak sides with silver filigree of the Vasa coat of arms. It features a large and small blade, a screwdriver, a file, a punch, scissors and a magnifying glass. President Stearns' reproductions feature the new Confederated Principalities of Europe coat of arms. These items are now available for purchase through fine merchants. Other items to include medical tools, scissors, shears, cutlery and dinnerware will be available soon.

AD #1 Exclusive KA-BAR

AD #2 Exclusive Soldat Messer 1

The Uberzeit Metall Werks (UMW) common stock will go on sale next month. Word on the street is this is a definite buy! (Paid adverstizing)

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