A butcher's knife with a well worn steel blade, and a flat rectangular wooden handle. The word "Newhaven" is stamped on the blade.
That old knife rattling at the bottom of your drawer could be a piece of Taranaki manufacturing history. Import restrictions imposed following World War II meant good quality kitchen knives were scarce. This prompted returned serviceman Howard Putt to establish a knife factory at Otakeho, south Taranaki. Using skills he learned in the Middle East his first knives were made with old handsaw blades but as production took off these were substituted by good waste steel from a shovel making factory. Adopting the Newhaven, Green River and Bleu Jean brands the factory produced carving knives and serving forks which were soon selling nationwide. At its peak the factory employed 13 staff and churned out 700 dozen knives in one month but the return of cheaper imports in the 1950s proved fatal to the enterprise. This Newhaven branded butcher’s knife was acquired by Taranaki Museum in 1990.
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