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18-03-10, 09:01 AM #1
- Join Date
- Mar 2010
- Sandersville, GA
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Wade and Butcher and the origin of the "Butcher knife."
I write for several U.S. knife publications and I am interested in tracking down the origin of a type of common knife that I grew up knowing as a "butcher knife." The firm of Wade and Butcher had a long history in the UK and even transplanted to the US where it sold products under the "Sheffield" brand.
The particular knife in question is often about 10-inches long, wooden handled, and has a prominant swell towards the point with often an obtuse "peak" on the top of the blade about 1-inch back from its obtuse point. This design made for a more weight-forward feel and aided in chopping and handling the knife. It was used as a general purpose knife for dismembering carcasses and for making long, smooth cuts through large muscles, according to butcher friends of mine.
Prior to about World War II and into the 1950s most kitchens in America had such a knife for dismembering chickens and the like.
The question is, did the butcher name become attached to this knife because it was introduced by the Wade and Butcher Co., or is this a "generic name" that was attached to the knife because it was used in the butcher's trade? Occasionally, I have seen the knife described as a Butcher knife with upper case lettering, indicating that someone, maybe Jon Butcher, may have designed it.
Does anyone on that side of the pond closer to the source, have any more or less certain knowledge about this?
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