Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Sheffield contrivance

The Pequod’s carpenter, a human being seen as an array of tools:

Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (1851).

A page from Egginton Bros Ltd traces the manufacture of pocket knives in Sheffield to the mid-to-late seventeenth century. The knives became increasingly complex, “with a multitude of other folding tools for various uses — spikes for removing stones from horses’ hooves, scissors, small saws, corkscrews, leather punches and even railway carriage door keys.” Here, for instance, is a Sheffield-made farrier’s or veterinarian’s knife, perhaps from the 1830s.

Also from Moby-Dick
“Nothing exists in itself” : Nantucket ≠ Illinois : Quoggy : “Round the world!” : Gam : On “true method” : “A certain semi-visible steam” : Ishmael, dictionary user

[Multum in parvo: much in little.]

comments: 2

garble huffle said...

Thanks for posting this. I had no idea what a Melville meant by "Sheffield Contrivance." I absolutely love this chapter for some reason.

Michael Leddy said...

You’re welcome. I’m always happy when something I’ve posted becomes useful to another reader.