Knives used around the Kitchen in 1919

kitchen2What is the most important tool used in the kitchen?

We here at Cutlery News Journal vote: The Knife, of course.

If you agree, then let’s be more specific- What knife, or better yet, which knife?

I think you will be surprised by all the different kinds of kitchen knives that have been made.

As a side note here- have you ever thought about the names given to knives? Why certain names were given and what they mean? And when they were first used?

Off the top of head, I would say that the majority, if not all, knife companies assigned numbers to identify knives and patterns. Some knife companies had very sophisticated systems, like Case, where the handle material, number of blades, pattern number, etc. were used.

But, what about the names? Where did they come from and why were certain names used, as opposed to others?

You may be surprised to know that back in 1919 an Official Directory of the Cutlery Trade of the United States was published. It classified the kind of knives and blades made. This list was published in The Cutlery Makers of America.

Today, I’ll will show the names of all the knives identified by this official directory used in and around the kitchen. You will find these interesting. Some of these knives are still known by these names, but for others, we would be hard pressed to identify them today.

My favorite is the Chicken-Killing Knife

  • Baking Knives
  • Banana Knives
  • Batch Knives
  • Beet Knives
  • Beef Shavers
  • Boning Knives
  • Bread Knives
  • Brisket Knives
  • Butcher Knivew
  • Butter Knives
  • Candy Knives
  • Cake Knives
  • Carving Knives
  • Champaigne Knives
  • Chef Knives
  • Cheese Knives
  • Chicken-Killing Knives
  • Chip Carving Knives
  • Cimeter Steak Knives
  • Cooks’ Knives
  • Dough Knives
  • Fish Knives
  • Fruit Knives
  • Grape Knives
  • Grape Fruit Knives
  • Grocer’s Knives
  • Hog Scraping Knives
  • Kitchen Knives
  • Kraut Cutters
  • Lunch Knives
  • Lemon Knives
  • Mincing Knives
  • Orange Clippers
  • Paring Knives
  • Pastry Knives
  • Pie Knives
  • Pork Knives
  • Poultry Knives
  • Ribbing Knives
  • Rib Shavers
  • Ripping Knives
  • Serrated Edge Knives
  • Skinning Knives
  • Steak Knives
  • Sticking Knives
  • Slicers
  • Sloyd Knives
  • Splitting Knives
  • Table Knives (silver, nickel plated & stainless)

Next in this series, we will look at Pocket Knives and Tool Knives.

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Thanks Scott
    This really makes us stop and think. 1919 it was
    tools that most people needed to do the daily
    chores. Now everything is made for us, and tools of
    yesterday is what we now collect, and reflect on
    a simpler time.I do not think we could handle the chores of yester year


  2. Hey Steve
    I agree on the chore point. and while life back then could be called “simpler,” it was in many cases, a very hard life.

    Wait to see the post I am writing on the “knife tools.” I think you will like it even better!

  3. I still use a vintage Case-xx 400-8 8-inch chef’s knife that I bought in a hardware store 40 ears ago. It’s far superior to any of the fancy expensive knives I have bought since then. Great balance and, because it’s not stainless steel, it takes a wicked edge. Too bad Case got out of the kitchen knife business in the ’90s.

  4. I have a set of bone handled knives and forks which belonged to my Grandmother around the early 1900’s. They are marked “American Cutlery Company”. Can you give me information on these?

  5. Some of the names of these knives seem pretty obvious, but what about the batch, sticking and Sloyd knives. Just curious, where do those names come from ?

    • Sorry VSK, I don’t have a club, but if I run across anything to help us figure it out, then I’ll let you know.

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