If you visit the Lamson & Goodnow cutlery company in Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts, you’ll see a facility that hasn’t changed much since the 1850s, except for the little improvements like electric lights, parking lots, and computer-driven manufacturing systems. Lamson & Goodnow combines tradition and craftmanship with innovation and continually adds to the list of company inventions, which began with the revolutionary curved snath in 1834.
Silas Lamson went into business with an idea that briefly changed the face of American agriculture. Many farmers of the early 1800s still harvested fields by hand with straight-handled, long-bladed scythes. Those tools were a big improvement when compared to earlier short-handled sickles, but still required some awkward and strenuous stooping to use correctly. Silas Lamson designed something better, a long scythe with a curved handle or snath. The curved snath scythe allowed farmers to work from a comfortable upright posture. Sales of Lamson’s invention supported the company’s first facility in Shelburne Falls in 1834. In 1837, Lamson’s sons, Ebenezer and Nathaniel, decided to add knives to the product line, and the company brought a new partner, Abel Goodnow, on board for the expansion. To improve and diversify the company, Lamson & Goodnow hired experienced cutlers from both Sheffield, England and Solingen, Germany. Many of their descendants still work for the company. During the American Civil War, Lamson & Goodnow became the largest cutlery manufacturer in the United States, producing an extensive line of agricultural tools, knives, and elegant tableware.
Lamson & Goodnow Today
Although the company looks the same from the outside, many things have changed for the better at Lamson & Goodnow. The company produces two main categories of knives, one in less expensive stamped steel and the other in their traditional forged pattern. Lamson’s forged products use imported Solingen steel and resemble the best traditional German kitchen cutlery. Four different types of handles are available, including one called “Earth” which uses recycled paper as the raw material for the durable ebony-black grip. Acrylic, pakkawood, and natural rosewood versions are also available. Lamson & Goodnow also produces sharpening systems, cutting boards, and many other kitchen tools and accessories. If you buy one of their forged knives, sign up for “Sharp for Life.” Just pay for shipping costs and the same craftsman who made your knife will restore it to original sharpness.
Read all of our Lamson reviews below: