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Thread: Taylor's Eyewitness

  1. #21
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    Thanks Bob, I've spent thousands of very happy hours in Derbyshire I'm always on the look-out for TEW, great quality knives usually, and I'm lucky enough to find a few If you look around (best 'Search' function' is immediately above the threads on the right, rather than at the top of the page), you'll find photos of the TEW factory here

    Good hypothesis on those blades

  2. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Black View Post
    Thanks Bob, I've spent thousands of very happy hours in Derbyshire I'm always on the look-out for TEW, great quality knives usually, and I'm lucky enough to find a few If you look around (best 'Search' function' is immediately above the threads on the right, rather than at the top of the page), you'll find photos of the TEW factory here

    Good hypothesis on those blades

    Thanks for the tip JB, and the encouragement!

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobbee View Post
    Thanks for the tip JB, and the encouragement!
    You should check out the Chesterfield flea-market on Thursdays if it's not too far for you to get to

  4. #24
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    These are not old , but they are Eye Witness








    Harry

  5. #25
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    Lovely Barlows Harry

  6. #26
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    These are two great examples Harry.

    Mike

  7. #27
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    Thank you Gentlemen . I need 2 more and will get them some day.

    Harry

  8. #28
    Hey guys! Just got this old knife from my grandfather, I'm trying to do a little research on it, just wondering if anyone had some info on it? Thanks!


  9. #29
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    Welcome to Traditionals That's an interesting knife, with an early TEW tang-stamp. Did your grandfather tell you anything about it?

    Edit - Does it have any markings on the other side?
    Last edited by Jack Black; 03-14-2017 at 03:38 PM.

  10. #30
    Oh thankyou very much for getting back to me. No he didn't have any info on it. It belonged to his great cousin. Do you know anything about it. Like how old it could be and where it in from, Any history would be great! Thanks again!

    Sent from my LG-H831 using Tapatalk

  11. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobenn7 View Post
    Oh thankyou very much for getting back to me. No he didn't have any info on it. It belonged to his great cousin. Do you know anything about it. Like how old it could be and where it in from, Any history would be great! Thanks again!
    THAT'S information When did your grandfather's great cousin give it to him? Does he know how long he had had it? Where was this? What condition was it in when your grandfather was given it? Is there a sheath? If so, can you show it please? Can you also show the reverse side of the knife please?

    The knife was made by Taylor's Eye Witness of Sheffield, a company which traces its roots back to 1828, and still exists today.

    John Taylor began his business in St Philip's Road, Sheffield in 1828, being granted the Eye Witness mark a decade later by the Company of Cutlers. The 'eye' is the Eye of Providence. Taylor died in 1854, after which his business was acquired by his son-in-law Thomas Brown Needham, cutler and shopkeeper. Needham passed away in 1870, and the business went to one of his associates, James Veall. In 1879, Walter Tyzack, of the Sheffield Tyzack dynasty, joined the firm, and the name was changed to Needham, Veall & Tyzack. By this time, they were based in Milton Street, Sheffield (less than a mile from where the business began), and by 1887, they claimed to employ around 200 workers. In 1897, they became a limited company. Their large cutlery factory on Milton Street still stands in Sheffield (you should be able to find photos here and elsewhere), and the company only recently vacated it for newer, and much smaller premises. Like all the Sheffield cutlers, they have been in decline for many years, and were absorbed by another cutlery company, Harrison Fisher, in 1975, with the firm eventually being renamed Taylor's Eye Witness. They continue to trade under this name, selling pocket knives and table cutlery, some of it now imported from China. Their website is at: http://taylors-eye-witness.co.uk/

  12. #32
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    Great old knives.

  13. #33
    That's awesome!!! Thank you so much! And I can get more details over coffee tomorrow Morning but from what I know now he got it from him 10-15 years ago when he passed away, were in the area of southern Quebec/ eastern Ontario between Ottawa and montreal, and as for the condition ot would have been same as it is today my grandfather put it away for safe keeping, but for his cousin, he would have put it to use I imagine, and yes there is a sheath I'm not sure if it is original though. Thanks again for all that info! Its amazing! I had never head of Taylor eye witness before or seen that eye mark!

    Sent from my LG-H831 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by cobenn7; 03-14-2017 at 07:22 PM.

  14. #34
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    With that sheath the first thing to my mind was Skean Dubh. I'm betting that blade is still pretty true to the original shape and grind. Very cool! The handle (scales) look to be checkered wood. Beautiful old knife!
    Looking to trade a Ebony Speaker Jack for an Ebony Clerk.

  15. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by eisman View Post
    With that sheath the first thing to my mind was Skean Dubh. I'm betting that blade is still pretty true to the original shape and grind. Very cool! The handle (scales) look to be checkered wood. Beautiful old knife!
    Awesome and thank you very much!!

    Sent from my LG-H831 using Tapatalk

  16. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Black View Post
    THAT'S information When did your grandfather's great cousin give it to him? Does he know how long he had had it? Where was this? What condition was it in when your grandfather was given it? Is there a sheath? If so, can you show it please? Can you also show the reverse side of the knife please?

    The knife was made by Taylor's Eye Witness of Sheffield, a company which traces its roots back to 1828, and still exists today.

    John Taylor began his business in St Philip's Road, Sheffield in 1828, being granted the Eye Witness mark a decade later by the Company of Cutlers. The 'eye' is the Eye of Providence. Taylor died in 1854, after which his business was acquired by his son-in-law Thomas Brown Needham, cutler and shopkeeper. Needham passed away in 1870, and the business went to one of his associates, James Veall. In 1879, Walter Tyzack, of the Sheffield Tyzack dynasty, joined the firm, and the name was changed to Needham, Veall & Tyzack. By this time, they were based in Milton Street, Sheffield (less than a mile from where the business began), and by 1887, they claimed to employ around 200 workers. In 1897, they became a limited company. Their large cutlery factory on Milton Street still stands in Sheffield (you should be able to find photos here and elsewhere), and the company only recently vacated it for newer, and much smaller premises. Like all the Sheffield cutlers, they have been in decline for many years, and were absorbed by another cutlery company, Harrison Fisher, in 1975, with the firm eventually being renamed Taylor's Eye Witness. They continue to trade under this name, selling pocket knives and table cutlery, some of it now imported from China. Their website is at: http://taylors-eye-witness.co.uk/
    Jack, do you know which types of knives were outsourced? I have a friend over in the UK that gets fairly worked up if I mention them (he worked in the Sheffield cutlery industry for many years). Sorry to have strayed a bit from topic. That Sgain sure looks like it would have stood up to being issued!

  17. #37
    That's a nice old knife and Jack has provided the best information. Here are a few extra thoughts...
    Enclosed is a picture of a Taylor's Yachtsman model from the 1920s which has a similar look and could have been what your knife evolved into.
    I would guess that your model had a bit more "belly" to the blade and also that the sheath, while old, is probably not correct for that knife.
    It does have an old curved "Witness" tang stamp as Jack pointed out and it could date to the late 1800s.


  18. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by cobenn7 View Post
    That's awesome!!! Thank you so much! And I can get more details over coffee tomorrow Morning but from what I know now he got it from him 10-15 years ago when he passed away, were in the area of southern Quebec/ eastern Ontario between Ottawa and montreal, and as for the condition ot would have been same as it is today my grandfather put it away for safe keeping, but for his cousin, he would have put it to use I imagine, and yes there is a sheath I'm not sure if it is original though. Thanks again for all that info! Its amazing! I had never head of Taylor eye witness before or seen that eye mark!
    You're very welcome, thanks for the extra pics and information It would be helpful to see some better close-up pics of the handle scales

    My mother and grandparents lived very close to the Eye Witness Works for many years, and my parents spent their first year of married life living in that area also. As a teenager, I lived nearby myself, and used to walk past the works every morning on my way to work, back in the day where TEW was still an employer of some size. Here's a photo from a few years ago.



    Quote Originally Posted by Bartleby View Post
    Jack, do you know which types of knives were outsourced? I have a friend over in the UK that gets fairly worked up if I mention them (he worked in the Sheffield cutlery industry for many years). Sorry to have strayed a bit from topic.
    Do you mean in the past, or in more recent times? In the past, like all the big Sheffield cutlery firms, TEW would have supplemented their own workforce by sub-contracting work to smaller cutlery firms and Little Mesters. In more recent times, they have imported knives from China (the packaging is stamped discreetly). It has been some time since TEW were a manufacturer in the sense that most people would interpret that word. You might care to share the information below with your friend (from an old thread) - something of a smoking gun, which I found on a Chinese website - but if he checks the packaging on any of the TEW kitchen knives, he will see where they are made.

    I found it interesting to discover that Taylor's have been in contact with foreign manufacturers, and importing products from abroad, since at least as early as 2007 (see below).

    http://www.made-in-china.com/traderoom/eyewitness

    Taylors Eye Witness

    Knife maker since 1838, we make, import and distribute kitchen ware products. We import as well as make our own products. Looking for quality products not commodity.

    Member Info »

    Business Type: Manufacturer
    Number of Employees: 201 ~ 500
    Business Scope: Tools & Hardware
    Member Since: 2007
    Last Sign In Date: Aug 10, 2007
    Contact Details

    Company Name: Taylors Eye Witness
    Company Address: Milton Street, Sheffield, S Yorks, United Kingdom
    Zip/Postal Code: S3 7WJ
    Contact Person (Department): Mr. Chris

  19. #39
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    Jack, my friend worked in the Sheffield cutlery industry from the early 70's until around 2007. His father also worked for the same firm from 1946 until he passed. They did metal pressing/stamping and made the advert knives that everyone used to have back then. I had asked him about whether Taylor's still made pocket knives in Sheffield and got as they say a right earful!

  20. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bartleby View Post
    Jack, my friend worked in the Sheffield cutlery industry from the early 70's until around 2007. His father also worked for the same firm from 1946 until he passed. They did metal pressing/stamping and made the advert knives that everyone used to have back then. I had asked him about whether Taylor's still made pocket knives in Sheffield and got as they say a right earful!
    I wonder if that was Harrison Fisher, who took over TEW? Lots of other firms did the same work though. TEW have been trying to get rid of their factory for years, as they no longer had a need for a factory like that. It has Listed Building status, so they couldn't demolish it, and it was very much a negative 'asset' since they still had to pay Council Tax, etc. Since nobody would buy it, after long negotiations, they managed to get Sheffield City Council to take it off their hands, and are moving to a much smaller, modern unit. Currently, they are between premises, and have been for some months. A forum member contacted me a few weeks ago because he has had some difficulty even getting in contact with the firm, and wanted to know what is happening with the Barlow knife he ordered some time ago.

    Sheffielders can, understandably, be very touchy about this, but there were Sheffield firms importing Solingen razors and re-stamping them in the 19th century, and I'm sure your friend is aware of Viner's, who in the 70's and 80's, imported table cutlery from China, and had it boxed in Sheffield. I am sure he will also know that the gaffers always put short-term profits before the interests of the trade in general, and cut corners whenever and wherever they could.

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