Hey all, this will get moved down to the newsfeed, but one of the perks of the new website is moving posts around on the page is a much easier proposition. So I am posting this “above the fold”, even if it isn’t KNIFE Magazine original content.
A lover of fine blades, William ‘Bill’ Moran Jr. was fascinated by Damascus steel, Ia layered-metals technique that creates intricate patterns on the surface. Dating back more than a thousand years, the blades are famed for their strength and beauty, yet the technique to create them once nearly died out due to its complicated and time-consuming nature.
The Braddock Heights resident, who was self-taught and made his first knife at age 13, decided to bring the lost art of making Damascus steel knives back in the early 1970s. After months of trial and error, Moran took several of his knives to the Knife Makers Guild Show in 1973. Since many had not heard of Damascus steel, Moran had his wife, Margaret, type up a summary of his findings, with details of how he created the knives. He handed out the information to people visiting his booth for free. (Such generosity with intellectual property is unheard-of today.)
The front-and-back, single-spaced document ended by stating: “These will probably be the rarest blades ever made in this Country. If I am able to continue making these for another ten years, their (sic) would be about one hundred in existence. … Real Damascus Steel is the most expensive and valuable steel in the world. It is the ultimate in a blade.”
We have covered the building of the new education center from the time they broke ground, through the opening a few months back. It is an incredible facility, and truly furthers the Foundation’s mission of preserving and promoting the art of the forged blade.