A LIVING HISTORY BLOG.

18TH CENTURY LIVING HISTORY IN AUSTRALIA.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Ben Franklin's Pennsylvania Gazette Jan 1750.


7 comments:

elmo iscariot said...

Do you know what's meant by "buck spring knives", by any chance? My initial googling is confounded by results for modern Buck brand pocket knives.

Le Loup said...

Good question Elmo. Personally I have never heard the term before, & would tend to think it was a spelling error & actually meant to be Back Spring Knives. But I will keep my eye open.
Regards, Keith.

Le Loup said...

Elmo, I see there are "Buck Handled Knives" also. Perhaps this is where the mistake comes from?!

Le Loup said...

Another strong possibility is a jack knife with buck horn scales.

Le Loup said...

Elmo.
Here is what I have been looking for: POCKET KNIFE PATTERNS

Figure 3 shows the pattern for the blade of a spring knife.
Figure 4 shows the pattern for its backspring. For these styles
it is also necessary to make a variety of different sized
patterns, such as from 3 to 6 [French Royal] inches.

L'Art du Coutelier (The Art of the Cutler), published in 1771. 18th century Parisian master cutler Jean Jacques Perret.

I think we can conclude from this that a buck spring knife is indeed a clasp knife with buckhorn scales.
Regards, Keith.

elmo iscariot said...

Wonderful; thank you so much.

It's a strange blindness--I know pocket knives with backsprings have existed for centuries, but it still feels like they're a modern innovation that nobody would have used in the eighteenth century, even having seen a few from that time in local museums.

I've used Google to pull up a reading list of your entries that mention "folding knife", "jack knife", and "clasp knife" in hopes of getting a feel for the frontier character of folders; hopefully it's an error I won't repeat. ;)

Le Loup said...

Elmo. The name "spring knife" was new to me, so through your enquirie I have learnt something new. So thank you Elmo.
Regards, Keith.