Cutlers in Colonial America
In the tough times of the eighteenth century, people had plenty of work to do. However, if you lived in eighteenth century America, you had a lot of work to do. Most raw materials and supplies came only on ships and were heavily taxed. Everyone in their community did their share of work in order to stay alive. Colonial trade was important in the economics of the colonies, and Americans saw many different trades in their communities. One of those trades, cutlery, was especially important.
Today, cutlery means utensils or tools for eating, but back then, cutlery meant a whole different type of thing. Since most foods were fingerfoods at that time, cutlers saw little use in making forks and spoons. Instead, they forged knives, ax blades, swords, lances, and things of that sort. They even made nail clippers and two-in-one blades! However, to make those things, you need skill and experience in the trade. Most cutlers got those skills from being an apprentice, or working at a trade without pay to see how a job gets done.
In eighteenth century New England, living in cities was rough, especially during the revolutionary war. Families usually contained four or more children, and money was tough to earn. P
Then, the cutler was to put a slip of wood, ivory, or bone on each side of the tang, drill two holes through everything, and set the slips in place with brass studs. If one person did not want the thing that a person offered, they would have to find another supplier. People paid for food, clothing, tools, and supplies by exchanging their items for the things they wanted. The cutler's grindstone was a large sandstone disk that was half exposed in a water trough. However, there were very few known coal and iron deposits mapped at that time. She is special because there were no a lot of woman entrepreneurs at that time. After the grindstone, the same mechanism of cranks and pulleys was to be used for a polishing stone. The grinding step insured that the metal would be sharp. He found that silver and copper could be fused to create a single metal. Cementation formed blisters and bubbles on the surface of the steel, making it more difficult to cut and weld. A soft midsection was favorable because the knife would have a springy body. It was because of this why some clasp knives had stationary slips in them. The other way used a square tang passed lengthwise through a section of deer horn or wood and "upset" over a metal washer where it emerged. This steel was usually used to make axes and knives. His tools were a hammer, a forge, and an anvil.