Nichols Bros Butcher Knife
I recently received a Nichols Bros butcher knife in a bundle of old knives. It is 10" oa, with a 6" blade. It has a tapered full tang with a wooden handle and 3 large brass rivets. The blade is lightly stamped Nichols Bros Greenfield Mass in all caps. I would like to know more information about this knife.

Also in the bundle was a 11" oa (7" blade) Robeson Shuredge butcher. It has a "splatter" forged look to the blade with 3 large brass rivets.

I realize these knives are not pc for the fur trade period, but the readers here have a lot of knife knowledge. Any information on these brands, or ideas on where to find more information, would be greatly appreciated.

On a side note, my old rusty butcher knife collection started by finding a Forgecraft butcher in the kitchen at church. An old man told me to "throw that old junk knife away," so I kept it and bought a knife set at Target to replace it. (I think I won there.) My collection grew to a couple, then to a few, and now to a box that is now overflowing thanks to the bundle I received. Every time I open a drawer, I find an "old junk knife." I think they may turn and start collecting me soon. Is this how knife collecting always goes?

Happy New Year!

"...having Providence for their founder and Nature for shepherd, gardener, and historian."
Posts: 44 | Location: Alabama | Registered: 01 May 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Here is a collectors site that can usually answer most of your questions.

Posts: 557 | Location: geneva,fl | Registered: 29 March 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I found this in Levine's Guide to Knives & Their Values, 5th Edition:

Nichols Bros.
Nichols Brothers of Massachusetts (aka American Tap & Die Co.) made professional knives, cleavers, and steels from about 1878 to the 1920s. Some of their knives are marked W.R. NICHOLS, and they also made private brands, such as GLOEKLER of Pittsburgh. Eager to compete with Wilson and Jordan [cutlers from Sheffield, England], Nichols advertised that their knives were also made from English double shear steel. (page 500)

Levine also provides a list from 1919 of American knifemakers, which shows Robeson Cutlery Co., Rochester, N.Y., but no additional detail is provided.

If you are interested in old knives, Mr. Levine's book may be the best single reference available. I don't know if a current edition is still in print. Mine is a copy I bought used. You could probably find one for a reasonable price on Evil Bay or Amazon Marketplace.

In any event, you have a couple of old timers there. They might not be from the fur trade era, but they still have value for those of us who appreciate old tools. I'll bet they are still usable, too... A few strokes across an oilstone ought to bring them back to life.

Best regards,

Notchy Bob

"Should have kept the old ways just as much as I could, and the tradition that guarded us. Should have rode horses. Kept dogs."

from The Antelope Wife
Posts: 332 | Location: Florida | Registered: 24 May 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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