Early American cutlery manufacturing from England’s perspective

sheffieldsteelamericaSheffield Steel And America- A century of commercial and technological interdependence 1830- 1930, by Geoffrey Tweedale.

If you enjoy learning about the early cutlery days, then here is a book you should add to your library, plus it is written by a Sheffield cutlery history expert.

I wanted this book because it discusses American cutlery history- from England’s perspective.

You will find the early steel and cutlery industries go hand in hand. Sheffield never considered the US cutlery manufacturers a threat until it was too late and by then our knife companies had captured the US market. This was about the same time America’s steel output, and quality, rivaled Sheffield’s. The combination of lack of demand for Sheffield’s cutlery and steel by America devastated Sheffield’s economy at that time as we were their largest customer for both.

Mr. Tweedale is a Sheffield cutlery expert and author of The Sheffield Knife Book. I was pointed to him a couple of years ago while researching a C & X Lockwood Brothers elephant toenail in my collection.

Don’t expect this book to be a riveting page turner, like a John Grisham novel, but it is a BUY recommendation for students of early American cutlery history.

Publisher’s overview and table of contents.

American Cutlery Company History Trivia

 

Knife Company History Trivia

Knife History Trivia

The history of our American cutlery companies is rich. New and interesting factoids are being discovered all the time.

Even though I am awful in Trivia Pursuit, the popular board game, learning about the early days of the communities, people and circumstances of the knife companies is most enjoyable. 

Today, we have a question for you knife history buffs.

What US city at one point claimed to be “The Cutlery Capital of the US?”

Clue: There was more than one City/Town/Community over the years that claimed to be the center of the knife universe. 

For the answer click “more.”

(more…)

Published in: on February 12, 2009 at 10:06 am  Comments (5)  
Tags: , , ,

Knife History References

Since the majority of knife collectors are into traditional pocket knives, I wanted to share a list of knife books that are helpful to me when I’m deep into trying to run down some bit of knife history.  

I admit history was not my favorite subject growing up, but for many of us into old patterns or brands, we can’t help but get a little crazy about it now.

Need to check a fact or date

There are times almost all collectors need to turn back to the pages of early American cutlery history to look up a date or fact about a particular company or community.  

An old postcard picturing a burned building

Smethport Cutlery Co. June 1910

Smethport Cutlery Co. June 1910

The other day  I was looking around eBay and ran on an old post card. It pictured a burned cutlery plant in Smethport, Pa. Not sure if it was significant or not, off to my books I went.

Bingo! It was the Smethport Cutlery Co. factory and it burned on June 11, 1910. Even more significant was practically the whole Case extended family had been involved in this company.  

Jean Case, W R Case, Russ Case and H N Platts put up the money to buy the company and not long after that it burned. If you want the rest of the story, Brad Lockwood gives excellent details in The Case Cutlery Dynasty.

Thankfully, I ended up winning this prime piece of American cutlery history, but had I not been able to identify its significance, I would have passed it over.  

Reference List

Here is the list of books I have found to be helpful. They aren’t listed in a particular order, although I flagged some of my favorites. 

(more…)