GEORGE WOSTENHOLM Small Bowie
GEORGE WOSTENHOLM 5''
ARGUABLY SHEFFIELD'S FINEST CUTLER, FOREVER ASSOCIATED WITH THE I*XL BOWIES OF THE GREAT AMERICAN BOWIE KNIFE ERA.
WOSTENHOLM'S EARLY HISTORY
In the mid-1700’s, there was reputedly a cutler by the name of George Wolstenholme (b 1717) working in the village of Stannington, near Sheffield (the supposed birthplace of the Barlow pocket knife). However it took three generations and one name change for the company to really make its mark on Sheffield’s cutlery history.
George’s son Henry was apprenticed to his father and in the 1750s was granted the use of the words “spring knife” by the Company of Cutlers in Hallamshire - spring knife being the term of the day for what is known now as a folding pocket knife. Henry’s son, a second George (b 1775), after having been apprenticed to another cutler, John Mickelthwaite, joined his father’s concern and the two continued in cutlery production until Henry died in 1803.
Originally the family name was spelt ‘Wolstenholme’ but, story has it that the second George found this name too long for smaller knives so he omitted the letters ‘l’ and ‘e’. The name has been spelt Wostenholm ever since.
The second George moved production to Sheffield where he built the fabled Rockingham Works (known locally as the Rockingham Wheel) in around 1810. Knives made in this factory and marked “Rockingham Works” are highly prized by knife collectors to this day.