Cutlery has long been transformed from common everyday eating utensils into real works of art. Of course, we are not talking about the usual factory "stamping", but about high-quality things made, if not in a single copy, then certainly in a small circulation. The Victoria and Albert Museum, for example, stores items of incredible beauty dating back to the 19th century; at one time, some of them were bought at special auctions and transferred to the institution so that descendants could familiarize themselves with the creations of skilled craftsmen.
Silverware is rightfully considered a symbol of the aristocracy, the commoners did not have it, and could not have it. Moreover, it was not enough to get at your disposal beautiful cutlery, you still had to learn how to use them correctly, while observing the requirements of etiquette. We bring to your attention interesting facts about cutlery, which will surely be of interest to many.
It turns out that the most ancient cutlery is the knife. Some historians are inclined to believe that it was the knife (stone or bone) that became the first tool of a skilled person (and it is not at all a stick, as many previously believed). For many millennia, the knife was used exclusively as a weapon: with its help they hunted wild animals and defended themselves from their attack. But special knives, which later became cutlery, appeared only about 5,000 years ago.
Our ancestors carried the so-called utility knives with them until the Middle Ages. They were used both during various tasks and during meals. A little later, somewhere in the 16th century, representatives of the nobility began to acquire expensive gold knives with carved wooden cuttings inlaid with precious stones. They were so beautiful that they were considered a real decoration, and today the few copies that managed to survive are rightfully considered to be real works of art.
Time passed, the materials for making knives and their shape changed. The blades, as well as the handle, sometimes acquired strange shapes and were striking in their variety. However, after many centuries, both simple products made of bronze and the most beautiful silver and even gold knives gave way to ordinary steel knives with plastic or wooden handles.
There are many legends associated with knives. So, it is believed that once Cardinal Richelieu issued an order that all table knives should be rounded. There are several versions of why he made this decision. According to one of them, the cardinal was infuriated by the habit of his entourage to pick the tip of a knife in his teeth during a meal. The second version says that the tips of the knives should have been rounded solely for safety reasons.
A couple of centuries after the advent of knives, spoons were invented. When exactly this happened is not known for certain, because different materials were used for their manufacture in different parts of the world. Somewhere spoons were made from eggshells, somewhere they were molded from clay, somewhere they were made from shells. By the way, some tribes still use spoons, which are clamshells tied to a stick. In Latin, the word "spoon" means "snail shell".
Around the 3rd millennium BC, scientists attribute the appearance of wooden spoons, spoons from animal horns or from the bones of large fish. The representatives of the nobility in ancient Rome already had golden spoons. In Egypt, ivory, stone and precious metals were used to make these cutlery. As for ordinary mortals, they ate for a very long time with their hands, and later they began to make spoons from cheap wood.
The first porcelain spoons were made in southeast Asia, they replaced similar objects made of crystals there. In Europe, mostly wooden spoons were used. It is interesting that in Ancient Russia the spoon appeared in everyday life of ordinary people much earlier than in Europe. Until the end of the 19th century, it was customary to carry a personal wooden spoon with you everywhere, the shape of which could be of the most varied. So, rough products were called burlak spoons and were considered low-grade, everyone tried to acquire a beautiful carved product with a pointed shape.
Hello everyone. This is a video version of the previous article. It is quite possible that it will be interesting to someone. Who is too lazy to read - look, there is an old, Endfield capsule pistol, which was brought from Afghanistan by a Soviet officer, as a trophy. Once it belonged to the field commander of the dushmans.
Best regards, Evgeny Khrustalev.
Many people think that inventors like Sam Colt could have appeared only in the 19th century, and "now they don't make such people." In fact, they do - and how. More precisely, it is they who "make" us.
"God created people, and Colonel Colt made them equal!"
If you carefully consider the history of Sam Colt and his famous revolvers, then analogies with the above persons simply arise by themselves. Indeed, Samuel Colt was not the inventor of the first revolver, as it is sometimes called. He was not even the inventor of some fundamental innovations both in the design of the revolver itself and in its production. Moreover, when one of the employees of his plant made a truly epoch-making invention - through chambers for using unitary cartridges, Colt refused it ... which he probably regretted more than once in the following decades.
Most of Colt's biographers agree that he invented his first revolver model while aboard the Corvo brig, inspired by the brig's ratchet mechanism.
The surname of another American inventor, Elisha Collier, pops up much less often. Although, in fact, this designer from Boston patented his revolver much earlier than Colt - in 1818. One barrel, a drum for six charges, almost everything, as we are used to ... though with one big BUT. Collier's revolver had a flintlock.
It is worth giving credit to the designer - he came up with a rather ingenious system with adding gunpowder when cocking, and also took care of reducing the breakthrough of gases between the drum and the barrel, making something like an oncoming system, familiar to us from the revolvers of the Nagant system.
The exact number of Collier revolvers produced is unknown, but from the available data, actual production is unlikely to exceed a few hundred.
Much more important and interesting is the fact that Sam Colt was most likely familiar with Collier's revolver. But in his design, he was able to put one important detail, which immediately transferred the development of Colt into the next era of firearms - ignition with a primer.
The very first Colt revolver, which appeared in 1836 "Colt Paterson" (at the place of production, in the town of Paterson, New Jersey), combined both features already familiar to us and noticeable differences. In particular, he did not have the usual trigger guard and the trigger in it - this was a hidden detail that protruded out only when the trigger was cocked. Also on the early "Paterson" there was no loading lever, which is usual for capsule revolvers. To reload, the drum had to be removed from the revolver. On the one hand, the operation was not very difficult and allowed the shooters to carry several pre-loaded drums with them. On the other hand, sometimes circumstances developed in such a way that the revolver and the loading device were in different places. Taking into account the "user feedback", the 1839 models added an articulated lever under the barrel for loading the drum chambers - a detail that has become familiar not only with Colt revolvers, but also many other primers.