Real American Knife Lore

This forum is dedicated to the discussion and display of old knives. The rich history of all the many companies that made them through the early years will be found here as well as many fine examples of the cutlers art. Share pictures of your old knives and your knowledge here!
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Re: Real American Knife Lore

Post by Robo » Thu Aug 08, 2019 5:21 am wrote:MB; I saw this when you first posted it, but I've delayed reading it until today.

Fascinating, poignant and sad all at the same time.

Killing a young grinder at twenty-four years of age with aspiration consumption (not the same thing as TB) is nothing for anybody to have been proud of.

As much as we love these things we cherish, knives, we must never forget the sacrifices of those that built them.

Charlie Noyes
Hear, Hear, Sir!

Sometimes I'm as guilty of romantisizing America's Knife manufacturing past as others are because the beautiful little piece of edged art I hold in my hand doesn't in and of itself speak of the pain and suffering--the alcoholism, drugery and often poverty-- of the folks who were it's creators. I'm grateful to find stories like these and I actively seek them out in order to remember there was a great price paid for the knife I paid a great price for.

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Re: Real American Knife Lore

Post by cudgee » Thu Aug 08, 2019 6:21 am

Just discovered this thread, fantastic reading, but so sad in a lot of ways. Not only the hardship these people went through, but the demise of knife manufacturing, tools and most things that were made by machines, tools AND hand. My grandparents and parents and many relatives went through these tough and they were tough times, but i think they came out as better people for it. I know times have changed and will not go back to what they were, but importing a lot of things and the throw away society attitude means quality hand made products are are a rarity and not the norm now, which i find very sad. But that being said, i think there is a growing brand of new purchasers out there, that are prepaired to pay for bespoke and hand made goods, if and when they have the money. You only have to look at some of the fantastic work being done by custom knife makers. So thanks everyone who had a hand in putting this thread together, well done. ::nod::

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Re: Real American Knife Lore

Post by danno50 » Tue Feb 11, 2020 3:12 pm

I have been in communication with the Village of Walden historian. She sent me this write up, also from the WPA project. It is by a Herbert Mason, who worked as a cutler for 7 different companies over 32 years, quite a few of them in Walden. I tried copy and paste from the word document, but couldn't get it to work, so made jpegs out of each page. Clicking on them will enlarge and make them easier to read. He speaks about the Upper and Lower Shops and names the Lower Shop as New York Knife Co. However, this is wrong, the Upper Shop was New York Knife Co. and the Lower Shop was Walden Knife Co. The article states that the Upper Shop closed in 1927. The historian believes that whoever wrote up the write up got the two shops confused, it was the Lower Shop (Walden Knife) that closed in 1927.

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Re: Real American Knife Lore

Post by Duffer » Wed Feb 12, 2020 6:47 pm

Thanks Dan for acquiring and posting this! I love reading these personal memories by old cutlers regarding the knife making business of yesteryear. Makes collecting these old knives we all like more personal and real. Thanks again ::tu::

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Re: Real American Knife Lore

Post by edge213 » Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:13 pm

Thanks for posting. I love reading the things written by the old cutlers.
"Glowing like the metal on the edge of a knife" Meat Loaf

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Re: Real American Knife Lore

Post by wlf » Wed Feb 12, 2020 10:01 pm

Thanks Dan, I appreciate your time, interesting letter.
I buy roosters combs and farmers..........................................................jack knives [/b]

May the Father and Son bless

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Re: Real American Knife Lore

Post by orvet » Tue Mar 31, 2020 6:50 am

Great story Dan! ::tu::
Thanks for posting it.
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