George Wostenholm & Son, Limited - Sheffield, England


History Overview


The largest establishment for the manufacture of spring knives is that of Messrs. George Wostenholm and Son Limited, whose cutlery takes the highest rank in the United States of America.

Their commodious premises are appropriately named "Washington Works" - the business of the firm having been formerly almost exclusively American.

The business was established by the late Mr. George Wostenholm, who did a limited trade at Rockingham Works, Rockingham-street, and afterwards removed to Washington Works, which, as his business attained large dimensions, he from time to time greatly extended.

In 1875 the business was transferred to a limited company with a capital of £100,000, Mr. Wostenholm being the chairman until his death in August, 1876, when Mr. Bernard Wake accepted the position.

Messrs. Wostenholm and Son are manufacturers of all kinds of spring knives and of table cutlery, scissors, and razors.

Their corporate marks are I*XL (granted by the Sheffield Cutlery guild in 1787.), a design of a Pipe, "Tally-ho!" and “Congruent," all well-known and valuable marks in different markets. The mark of the Pipe was granted as far back as 1694, by the Cutlers' Company, and is the oldest mark upon the Government Register for articles with a cutting edge. It was purchased many years ago from the previous owners by Mr. Wostenholm.


The trade of Messrs. Wostenholm and Son is chiefly foreign; they export largely to the United States, and have also considerable markets in Canada, Australia, the Wrest Indies, and several European countries. They have deservedly been among our most successful exhibitors.

Mr. Wostenholm received a prize medal at the International Exhibition of 1851; a large gold medal (the only one presented for English cutlery) at the Paris Exhibition of 1855; and a large gold medal at London in 1862. At the Paris Exhibition of 1867 Mr. Wostenholm was a juror, and therefore excluded from competition.

At the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1876 a medal and diploma were awarded to the Company.

John Taylor, The Illustrated Guide to Sheffield and the Surrounding District,
(Sheffield: Pawson & Brailsword, 1879)


Tweedale’s Directory of Sheffield Cutlery Manufacturers

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