Samuel Wragg’s “Fat Folders” Stout Folding Knives of the Bowie Era
By Garry Zalesky
Samuel Wragg was a highly regarded bowie knife maker in Sheffield, England during the 1830s and 1840s, a time when America’s westward expansion was growing by leaps and bounds. The opportunities in the West called out to those who were ready to take on the challenges of heading into the wilderness. The people who went West, and what they took, varied greatly but without a doubt everyone took a gun and a knife. A great many of these knives came from Sheffield where they had been making knives for a very long time. The Sheffield cutlers could supply high quality knives in the large quantities that were needed to satisfy the burgeoning American demand.
Wragg was one of many cutlers in Sheffield’s small shops and “factories” that saw the American market as an opportunity to make a lot of money supplying the sort of knives Americans wanted, be it a simple butcher knife or a finely made bowie knife. To a smaller extent he also produced some extremely fine folding bowies, in essence a bowie knife that folds.
This article appeared in the December 2019 issue of Knife Magazine. Click the blue box below to read the whole thing.