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Steel CityEntrepreneurship, Strategy, and Technology in Sheffield 1743-1993$
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Geoffrey Tweedale

Print publication date: 1995

Print ISBN-13: 9780198288664

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198288664.001.0001

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Individualism in the Era of Mass-Produced Cutlery and Tools

Individualism in the Era of Mass-Produced Cutlery and Tools

(p.268) 8 Individualism in the Era of Mass-Produced Cutlery and Tools
Steel City

Geoffrey Tweedale

Oxford University Press

Although the 1920s and the 1930s are often presented as black decades for the cutlery and tool trades of the Sheffield steel industries, increased international competition, trade depressions, changing consumer preferences and demand, the erosion of craft skills, and other such negative trends for the industry were compensated with various developments that brought about new opportunities. Aside from how the inter-war period marked a significant period in the history of the cutlery industry, it was in this period in which the modern knife — which was machine-produced, stainless, and heavily advertised and distributed on a massive scale — was introduced. This chapter attempts to look into how Sheffield was able to respond to such trends, particularly to how they were able to incorporate individualism in spite of the mass production of tools and cutlery.

Keywords:   individualism, mass production, cutlery, tools, modern knife, inter-war period

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