However, what do we really know about the folks that invented them! One that comes to mind is the Bowie Knife. I mean, who in America hasn't heard of the Bowie Knife? Do you know who made the knife? Probably not!
Don't feel badly, most of us don't. I am going to tell you a few things about the maker...a man named James Black!
1800 – 1872
James Black was an Arkansas blacksmith and the creator of the original Bowie knife designed by Jim Bowie. Bowie was already famous for knife-fighting from his 1827 sandbar duel. But his killing of three assassins in Texas and his death at the Battle of the Alamo made him, and the blacksmith’s knife, legends. Black’s knives were known to be exceedingly tough yet flexible. Black kept his methods for creating the knife very secret and did all of his work behind a leather curtain. Many claim that Black rediscovered the secret to producing Damascus steel which is a type of steel used in Middle Eastern sword making from 1100 to 1700 that could cut through lesser quality European swords. The original techniques to make James Black’s knife cannot be duplicated even today. Black died on 22 June 1872 in Washington, Arkansas.
Interesting Fact: In 1839 shortly after Black’s wife’s death, he was nearly blinded when his father-in-law and former partner broke into his home and attacked him with a club, having objected to his daughter having married Black years earlier. After the attack Black was no longer able to continue in his trade.
I say we should have our coffee out on the patio today. Just too nice to be inside!