Mechanical engineering graduate Timothy Leatherman was tasked with designing a ‘Boy Scout knife with pliers’ whilst travelling with his wife in the late ‘70s, after their car and hotel plumbing kept repeatedly failing on them. After many different designs and a patent granted in 1980, Leatherman eventually went into business in 1983 to create the first ‘Pocket Survival Tool’. In 1984 they took 30,000 orders, leading to huge growth, both in terms of product development and capacity for manufacturing. By 2001, sales had exceeded 20 million units, and were turning over $100 million a year. Today, Leatherman produce a huge variety of blades, knives and multi-tools, as well as various accompanying accessories.