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History of Cutlery and Tools with Geoffrey Tweedale

  William and Samuel Butcher: Tool, Cutlery, and Steel Manufacturers of Sheffield by Geoffrey Tweedale

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1. Butcher Works

In the 1860s, an American newspaper editor, J. K. Hoyt, visited Sheffield.  We do not know the year or the complete details of his trip.  But from a later published account (see Appendix), we do know that he called on one of the town’s cutlery and steel firms – W. & S. Butcher – and met the brothers (William and Samuel), who owned the company.

Hoyt would not have had to travel far once he arrived in Sheffield.  A short walk up a steep hill from the railway station would have brought him into one of Sheffield’s busiest industrial thoroughfares – Arundel Street – and thence to Butcher Works (or Butchers’ Wheel).

It was a large, tenement-style block that in the nineteenth century buzzed to the noise of grindstones, forges, buffing wheels, and steam engines.  It is still possible to take that walk and see this factory on Arundel Street.

Walk under the archway and into the courtyard and its impressive size is revealed.  This photograph was taken recently at sunset. 

The courtyard and the surrounding buildings were deserted and eerily quiet, inviting the spectator to conjure up images of the building’s history and the long-forgotten lives of its creators.


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W. & S. Butcher


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