|Our knife, found in the Wilson House|
|Close-up of Stamp|
In 1834 J. Russell decided that he had enough experience to start manufacturing knives (the same year that is stamped on our knife). Then J. Russell & Co. had a devastating fire on March 15, 1836 in his forging workshop. He was given insurance money to repair the damage. He had a major flood during the repairs that caused his buildings to wash away with his supplies for which his insurance did not completely cover.
A wealthy man name Henry Clapp, owner of Green River Works, provided $10,000 to rebuild the forge, everything within his forge, rebuild the damn, and the bridge that had been there before. In return, ‘J. Russell & Co.’ became ‘J. Russell & Co. Green River Works’.
By process of elimination, we know that he started making cutlery knives in 1834; our knife has a date of 1834 stamped in with J. Russell & Co. This gives us a date ranging from J. Russell making cutlery knives in 1834, to his business’s name change in 1836 when it became J. Russell & Co. Green River Work’. So, our make date for this knife is between 1834-1836.
I have made an educated guess that because it has the date 1834 stamped on it and his business name changed two years after in 1836 that is probably accurate.