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Wilson blades from the early to mid 19th century

sumoj275 Jun 12, 2013

  1. sumoj275

    sumoj275 Little member

    I have been looking at the old trade knives from England by a company I. Wilson. If you have any, experiences with them, and or pics I would appreciated you sharing.
  2. Mike Stewart

    Mike Stewart Knife Moderator/Bark River Knife & Tool

    I'm not sure what you specifically want to know about the knives and You also did not say which knives you have or are interested in.

    I Assume You mean their Butcher knives.

    The Steel used in them is what is called Sheer Steel and the Carbon Content is usually between .80 and .95. that puts it kind of like 1085 in modern Steel.

    Knives of that period were all very soft by today's standards Someplace between 50 and 54 Rockwell.

    They are easy to sharpen to a very keen edge but will not hold that edge very long and should be sharpened to a 25 Degrees or an even thicker edge angle. All of the knives of that period were Convex Sharpened to Maximize the edge holding because Convex Edge Spines are typically tougher.

    The Butcher knives have very little value from a Collecting Standpoint because vintage Butcher Knives are just not usually very collectable. An absolutely perfect condition vintage example might bring $60.00 to someone who liked to collect old butcher knives. They did make some large Camp knives and Small Bowie Looking Hunting Knives but they do not bring the large amounts of money that the more popular Sheffield Firms models bring.

    I.Wilson was actually John Wilson Cutlery of Sheffield England. They are referred to as I. Wilson because the J. looks like an I. on their Blade Stamps.

    They were Established in 1750 and seem to have been in Business until about 1919 or 1920. The Trade name was later registered by Joseph Elliot Cutlery in Sheffield in 1944 and they still made Butcher knives under the Name I. Wilson until about 1970.

    The Wilson company did specialize in butcher knives and other trade knives - like Skinners - Flaying knives - Farrier knives and even Shoemaker knives. They also copied all of the "Green River" Patterns we were making here in the U.S. (Russell & Harrington)

    Here is the only Vintage Ad I was able to find on them.


    Sheffield has so many knife companies from the 1500s all the way into the 1940s that it is hard to find much info on the less significant ones that did not make what collectors today are interested in.

    If you actually have any specific Questions I'll try to answer them.

  3. hot.soapy

    hot.soapy Hot and Soapy Devil

    reminds me of an ontario catalog. modern day equivalent.

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