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Knives, Forks & Spoons

Knives and spoons have been around since the dawn of civilisation, the first being made of flint and wood. Forks, however, are relatively new. Up until the 12th Century it was normal in polite society to eat from your fingers; but a noble Italian lady changed all that when she introduced a two-pronged fork to her table, maybe to help with the spaghetti! The idea took Europe by storm, and before long the well-to-do went nowhere without their personal knife and fork sets. The Chinese and Japanese were unimpressed, though, and continue using chopsticks to this day.

Knives, forks, and spoons are together known as cutlery. Sheffield is the cutlery capital of the world, and we visit its largest factory to see hundreds of skilled cutlers hard at work - melting, moulding, rolling, punching, pressing, polishing, and etching. They are even seen lasering ancient symbols (called hallmarks) into their carefully crafted creations.

The people of the factory are a cheerful lot, probably because each little knife, fork, or spoon they create is a thing of beauty and a source of great pride for them all. Watch the furcator divide the prongs of our forks, wearing the same cloth cap he has worked in for twenty years. See the knee polisher thrusting his legs into the dangerously fast-spinning buffing brush. And enjoy the thrill of spoon making with the gentlemen of the spooning department.

This is a true Magic of Making classic, charming, educational, and held together with the most delightful of musical tracks. A must-have for your DVD or Download collection.

Duration: 7:05

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This film is also available on the DVD:
'The Magic of Making - Volume 4'.