My last week's Wednesday was a long
day and I arrived home rather late. I glanced through my mail
quickly and found a package from LULU.com. I was waiting for
this package for a week or so and now it was here. I knew what
was inside – it was a book by Geoffrey Tweedale, Tweedale’s
Directory of Sheffield Cutlery Manufacturers 1740 – 2010.
As I was thumbing through the book,
I was also scanning my email and one sender quickly caught my
eye - Geoffrey Tweedale.
Wow… It was a Tweedale’s Day!
Anyway, back to the book. I found
info about it somewhere on the Net and immediately placed an
order with Lulu.com. I was a bit surprised that only Lulu.com
carried it, but it became clearer after a few emails exchanged
Here are a few
“Dear Editor, I am a historian based at Manchester
Metropolitan University Business School in Britain. I have
recently published a historical directory of the Sheffield
cutlery trades, 1740-2010.
It's quite comprehensive -- over 900 makers. As you will
know, many Sheffield cutlery firms (and merchants) also sold
tools, so the directory will be useful to tool collectors
and historians, too.
I published it myself on a print-on-demand site: lulu.com,
where it can be purchased for £30 (plus post and package).
It is a paperback, b&w, pp. 478.
I thought you might be interested in having these details
for your home page. If so, I attach a copy of the cover, so
you can see what it looks like. If you need any further
details, please let me know.”
And my response:
I should call today a "Tweedale Day". Not only I received an
email from you but also your book arrived today. I ordered
it from Lulu about a week ago and it arrived today.
Of course I do know about you and your work. I also have one
of your books - Sheffield Steel and America. Actually, it is
permanently on my desk and I use it as a reference in all
the research that I do for the website. All other books are
out of print and the last time I checked for prices on Steel
City, I found them prohibitive.
I am very excited about your new work and tonight will be a
long night for me. I have to at least briefly go through the
Glad that the book is of interest. No publisher would touch
it, because of its size, so I ended up self-publishing - so
I am dependent on enthusiasts such as yourself to publicize
it, to a certain extent.
Simon Barley, who you may know (if not, he's an expert on
Sheffield saws), mentioned your website. It looks great,
with many interesting downloads -- which would have saved me
a lot of time when I did Sheffield and America.”
Geoffrey Tweedale, Professor of Business
Geoffrey Tweedale studied history
at Queen Mary College, University of London, and then enrolled
at the London School of Economics. At the LSE, he developed an
interest in American economic history under the supervision of
two dedicated Americanists, Jim Potter and the late Charlotte J.
Erickson. His PhD thesis in 1983 looked at the transfer of
Sheffield steel and tool technologies to the USA in the 19th
He has since researched and taught
in the history of business, technology, and medicine. His book,
Steel City, was awarded the Wadsworth Prize by the Business
Archives Council in 1995. More recent interests include the
history of industrial hazards, such as asbestos.
Among books and articles published
by Geoffrey Tweedale, three are of special interest to tools and
cutlery collectors, historians and researchers.
Sheffield Steel and America: A Century of
Commercial and Technological Interdependence 1830-1930 –
Steel City: Entrepreneurship, Strategy, and
Technology in Sheffield 1743-1993, (Oxford, 1995).
The Sheffield Knife Book: A History &
Collectors’ Guide, (Sheffield, 1996).
And now we have the newest creation
- Tweedale’s Directory of Sheffield Cutlery Manufacturers, 1740
– 2010 (The author, 2010).