1971.22.123 | Crooked knife

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Crooked knife
About 1900, 20th century
11.5 x 3.6 x 20.4 cm
Gift of Dr. Berton A. Puddington Estate
This artefact belongs to: © New Brunswick Museum
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Keys to History

The lumber camp routine was not constant, however, since Sunday was a day off for everyone, except for the cook. This meant that Saturday night was devoted to various forms of recreation such as playing music, singing, step dancing, storytelling and games. Sunday was a time for washing clothes, mending socks, whittling wood or continuing a story from the night before.

Crooked knives were often made from old filed-down razor blades attached to carved wooden handles. Copied from First Nation designs, these knives were used in farming and forestry to carve knickknacks and other decorative creations.

Source : All in a Day's Work: Lumbering in New Brunswick [Web tour], by New Brunswick Museum (see Links)

  • What

    The handle design of this knife is in a floral or leaf pattern.

  • Where

    Carved spruce gum boxes with sliding panels and a full supply of gum were favourite lumber camp items.

  • When

    While most carving and whittling occurred on Sundays, a few minutes might be snatched in the evenings between supper and "lights out."

  • Who

    Loved ones at home received the items produced with the crooked knife as gifts, such as spruce gum boxes.