Talk about a dart throw.
I don’t get emails from the UK often – never really, apart from the spam that we all are used to seeing in our inboxes.
So I was surprised to see something happen from Sheffield… UK.
It was from Portland Works, a manufacturer of stainless steel in Sheffield, UK. Their communications manager called Sheffield on “stainless steel manufacturing and now a thriving heritage center for independent artists and craftspeople.”
“I hope the people of Sheffield, Pennsylvania,” Julie Shipston said, “will help us in our search for cutlery made in this famous factory in the last century.”
Now I had to find out where Sheffield, UK is located.
I read it was in Yorkshire. Now my only knowledge of this place is from Downton Abbey which I think is not helpful here. It’s about a four hour drive north of London. If you look at the UK’s main island and put a dot in the middle halfway up, you’d be in the stadium, still a bit to the north.
It’s a bit older than Sheffield, PA – its city charter dates from 1297.
With a population of just under 600,000, it is the third largest city in the district of England behind Leeds and, of course, London.
Portland Works sent out a statement detailing what they are looking for.
“In 1914, Portland Works in Sheffield, UK became the first place in the world to manufacture stainless steel cutlery. His “Rusnorstain” cutlery rose to fame, was exported from Sheffield around the world, shown at international trade shows and was likely worn by families emigrating to the United States. It continued to be made at the factory until the 1960s.
“Now Portland Works wants to track these pieces and create a map showing their locations and the trip they’ve made from Sheffield to the UK.”
“We would like people to search their homes to see if they have any items made by RF Mosley or other manufacturers at the time, including Alexander Clark (marked”Welbeck“), George Gill, William H. Green, John Thomas, Johnsons & Sons, W. Mammatt or E. Atkinson & Sons,” said Dr Chris Corker, business historian, senior lecturer in management at York University and president of Portland Works.
“We ask them to send us photographs with any details they may have, such as a name stamp, silver markings or EPNS and anything else relating to the story of the item. It will be so exciting to see where the items made on Randall Street in Sheffield UK ended up in the world. “
Sheffield, County Warren, was named in honor of Sheffield, UK, by early settlers.
“The place was first set up in 1836 by Newton Lounsberry and was one of the first tanning centers as it was accessible to large amounts of hemlock bark used in tanning sole leather.” an article on place names in the states of Warren County.
The township was organized by court order in June 1833 and was the site of the largest sawmill east of the Mississippi – the Pennsylvania Lumber Company – in the early 1900s … when production of this cutlery began from the other side of the pond.
Now I called it a dart throwing because the production of this cutlery is a century old while the Township of Sheffield is only a dozen years into its bicentennial.
But it seems at least theoretically possible that someone has this stuff here.
Why? Because if I could afford cutlery from the other side of the world that has a direct connection to where I live, you’d bet I’d be interested.
So… does anyone have something?
If so, check out this website – www.portlandworks.co.uk/aroundtheworld