History of Knives
It’s a relatively accepted theory that knives were one of the very first tools that were ever used by humans. In fact, many believe that the use of a knife even pre-dates that of the user of fire. Most feel that the first knives were created during the Stone Age. Original knives were typically made from rock.
Knives as Tools
Knives have always been an extremely useful tool to have. They are probably one of the only tools that we use daily that were used by our distant ancestors. The Bronze Age brought about the first significant change to knives, though since its softer structure didn’t make the strongest of knives, many still preferred the “older” stone tool. Stone blades and knives really remained the preferred material up until bronze was replaced with iron which was considerably stronger than bronze.
Ancient Greek and Roman civilizations are credited with the first folding knives as well as knives with ivory blades. It’s believed that this was a result of the popularity of cut fruits – ivory blades prevented the transfer of the taste of rust (or metal).
Between 1095 and 1272 there were a number of Crusades launched by the Europeans. During this time they traveled to all corners of the earth fighting for ground and more. Like so many other conflicts, this created an opportunity. France began its manufacturing of cutlery offering blades of various sizes and shapes and in a variety of materials. France had a corner on the cutlery market (including knives) until about 1789 and even today, you’ll find several cutlery manufacturers still in France.
The “Pocket” Knife
Today’s pocket knife is believed to be started sometime during the 15th Century – again out of necessity. Remember, knives were the main tool at that time, there was no cutlery, as we know it today – people ate their meals with the blades of their knife. This is when it is believed that multiple-blade knives made their first appearance and most likely resulting in more folding knives.
While most early knives were created from carbon steel (or iron), today’s blades are made of surgical steel, carbon steel or from martensitic stainless steel. What has not changed much is the overall design of knives.
Nearly all collectible knives and Scout knives are created from carbon steel. The reason behind this is believed to be that while this knife can oxidize easily, it’s less expensive to manufacture, it’s very easy to sharpen and once sharpened it has a great edge.
It seems like today you can find a knife for any purpose including fighting, multi-purpose knives, hunting knives and more. This development really came about during the 19th Century, material was readily available and more people were adept at creating knives. Whether you are looking for a simple purpose knife or a collectible folding knife, today you will have no trouble locating them. Whether your tastes run to plain handles or intricately designed handles, there is a knife available to suit your basic needs, or your desire to collect a piece that displays exquisite workmanship.
Today pocket knives are available for a fraction of the cost of what they used to be. You’ll find people from early teens to older adults, men and women sporting a pocket knife. Because of the impeccable record keeping that began around 1900, collectors have an easier time valuing and dating previously created knives, and particularly those rare hand-crafted ones. Knives are often used for wedding gifts, promotional items and more.
Knives have been around for almost more years than we can document. What better idea for a promotional item, something that has been part of our history for centuries. Inexpensive knives are a great item to give as gifts, promotional products at fairs and more. Promote yourself and your business with a bit of history to go along with it. You may give a pocket knife that someone will pass down to the next generation of knife collectors and become part of history as well!