Most of us know that cutlery is used to eat with, cut up
fruits and vegetables and slicing the family turkey at
Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner. Actually, during the
holidays or special occasions is about the only time we
really use our good silverware anymore, I guess that’s why
its called “the good silverware”. Cutlery was named after
the person who makes it called a Cutler were during
medieval times was a very important trade.
The history of cutlery starts with the shell and the sharp
flint used for cutting. Gradually, chipping flint began to
improve naturally sharp edges. When copper and bronze came
into use, knives began being fashioned by those two metals.
Later steel and alloys of steel displaced other materials
for blades and other cutting instruments. Table knives were
introduced around 1600. Before that time, individuals
brought their own knives to the table, which also doubled
as daggers. The cutlery industry evolved from
handicraftsman to mass production. Certain localities,
especially in Europe, have become known for the superiority
of their cutlery. The Toledo blade of Spain was famous when
the sword was an important weapon. In addition Solingen,
Germany and Sheffield, England, have been recognized for
their cutlery since the Middle Ages.
Silverware as we know it here in the U.S. consists of a
knife, spoon and fork. It used to be made out of silver,
giving it the silverware name. Steel was always used to
make utilitarian knives and for awhile pewter was used to
make less expensive silverware, especially spoons. Almost
all of the eating utensils in the country today are made
out of stainless steel or electroplated nickel silver or
High-carbon steel is used to make the best quality cutlery
around and the great chefs’ of the world use only the best.
Less expensive silverware are beveled from steel bars or
stamped out of sheets of steel and then concaved in hollow
ground. Afterwards, the steel is coated with chromium to
make them stainless and most of the scissors we use today
are casts in molds or stamped.
Plastic silverware was made to be disposable and is used in
most fast-food restaurants. Disposable plastic tableware
comes in handy when going on a picnic, taken to sporting
events and even the neighborhood BBQ and if something gets
lost or broken, there really is no loss. One day, someone
came up with the idea to combine two eating utensils
together and make it one and now we have a fine piece of
eating equipment called the Spork and the knork.