Tuesday, 3 July 2007



The whole tray of cutlery that had just been washed in the Beechworth Bakery. I had though that a black and white, messy cutlery will be quite provoking.

Cutlery has been made in many places. In England, the industry became concentrated by the late 16th century in and around Birmingham and Sheffield. However, the Birmingham industry increasingly concentrated on swords, made by 'long cutlers' and on other edged tools, whereas the Sheffield industry concentrated on knives.

At Sheffield, the trade of cutler became divided with allied trades emerging such as razormaker, awlbladesmith, shearsmith, and forkmakers becoming distinct trades by the 18th century.
Before the mid 19th century when cheap mild steel became available due to new methods of steelmaking, knives (and other edged tools) were made by welding a strip of steel on to the piece of iron that was to be formed into a knife or sandwiching a strip of steel between two pieces of iron. This was done because steel was then a much more expensive commodity than iron.

After fabrication, the knife had to be sharpened, originally on a grindstone, but from the late medieval period in a blade mill or (as they were known in the Sheffield region) a cutlers wheel.

(courtesy of wikipedia.com)

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