SHEFFIELD CUTLERY FLATWARE & SILVER GIFTS
R P Day & Co
15 Tunwell Greave
STAINLESS STEEL CUTLERY
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Like Rome, Sheffield is built on 7 hills. The similarities do not extend much beyond that fact, but the topography of the city gave it an advantage and led to its industrial development over hundreds of years. The rivers flowing through the city provided power for waterwheels that drove machinery in hundreds of workshops. The area is a source of iron ore and coal which led to the steel industry and which put the city on the map as a major industrial centre.
Sandstone quarries provided grinding wheels used for polishing steel, particularly in the cutlery trade which has existed for 800 years.
The development of stainless steel was the brainchild of Harry Brearley who, in 1913, was working on a project to prevent rifle barrels from corroding so much during use. His analysis of the rifle barrels involved having to dissolve them in acid but, by chance, he noticed that steel which had a high chromium content did not dissolve in the acid.
He experimented with varying proportions of chromium and finally produced a stainless steel with 12.8% chromium. He moved to Thos Firth & Sons in 1914 and commercial production of stainless steel cutlery began. Refinements were necessary because early versions of stainless steel knives were harder to produce and polish, and they would not cut as well as the existing knives.
Typically, you will now see "18/10 stainless steel". The "18" refers to the percentage of chromium and the "10" is the nickel content. Present day stainless steel, as produced by Sheffield cutlery companies, is a highly resistant material that can be mirror-polished. 18/10 stainless steel conforms to British Standards ISO 8442, F.D.A. and US Public Health regulations and European Health Directives.
Do beware of inferior "stainless" steel. You may find that it is not so stainless and that its strength and durability are poor by comparison to what is on offer via this web site. Click to view our Showroom.
DISHWASHER USE & STAINLESS STEEL CUTLERY
As we say in our FAQ section, we do not recommend the use of dishwashers
on any cutlery or products sold from this web site. Here's a reader's
letter taken from The Times that goes some way to explaining how things
can go wrong if dishwashers are used, and how it's not always a fault
with the cutlery itself -
PRICE COMPARISONS FOR STAINLESS STEEL CULTERY
Arthur Price Of England Stainless Steel comes with a Lifetime Manufacturers' Guarantee.
Click for Stainless Steel Cutlery -
BBC - Sheffield's Stainless Steel Legacy
Further information -
Steelmakers and Knotted String hardback book by Harry Brearley. Click the link for price and ordering information.
Millenium Canteen - Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University.