The history of the museum

The historic building housing the Opinel Museum was built in 1932 by Jean Opinel, a blacksmith/edge-tool maker like his brother Joseph, the creator of the famous pocket knife.

After leaving their original hamlet of Gevoudaz in the valley of Arvan in the early twentieth century, Jean, his son Daniel and his grandson Jacques manufactured tools and knives in the workshop of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne until 1973 under the brand Croix de Savoie.

From 1973 to 1985, the building was then used as a subsidiary workshop of the Opinel company, which had already been established on Chambéry's outskirts since 1915.  

In 1989, Jacques Opinel, Joseph's grand-nephew, transformed the site of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne into a free private museum telling all about the history of the Opinel®.

In 2012, the museum began to be renovated by the Opinel company and Maxime Opinel, son of Jacques, with firstly a phase of expansion and renovation work accompanied by a new museum in 2013.

The museum expanded again in 2018 to accommodate 50,000 visitors annually.

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