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There was empty dry-goods boxes under the awnings, and loafers roosting on them all day long, whittling them with their Barlow knives; and chawing tobacco, and gaping and yawning and stretching – a mighty ornery lot.” – Adventures of Huckleberry Finn The history of the barlow knife has been difficult to trace.At least four American Barlow families have claimed that they invented the barlow knife. Johnson (1) the Barlow knife was probably first manufactured by Obadiah Barlow at Sheffield, England, around 1670.
Another source says the barlow knife was also made by Luke Furnace of Stannington, which in the eighteenth century was a small village on the outskirts of Sheffield.
The Barlow Company, which made pocketknives, among other quality gift ideas, started about 1930 in the United States.
In 2003, Barlow stopped giving their products a Lifetime Warranty.
A barlow style knife has one or two blades, a huge metal bolster, and a comfortable tear-drop shaped handle.
The blade or blades are attached at the small end of the handle.