Swords for the Atomic Age (Dec, 1955)

Every headline sounds better if you stick the word “Atomic” in it. Even if you’re talking about a centuries old technique for making swords.

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Swords for the Atomic Age

Wilkinson blades gleamed at Waterloo and Balaclava and are still being made for military ceremonies.

IF YOU need a sword the place to get it is Wilkinson’s Sword Company, London (Est. 1772). Wilkinson’s makes dress and ceremonial swords for the military of Britain, Canada and the U.S. The big two-handed Stalingrad sword Churchill presented to Stalin at Teheran was forged at Wilkinson’s. Keen and well-tempered as the old fighting weapon, the dress sword is judged chiefly for its beauty of workmanship and the way the embossing on the blade tells the story of a regiment or of a glorious martial event.

3 comments
  1. Hirudinea says: February 20, 20123:06 pm

    Totally impractical as a weapon today of course but still a beautiful piece or marshal art, nice to see this kind of craftsmanship still survives.

  2. Nomen Nescio says: February 20, 20123:38 pm

    wilkinson sword (dot com) is still around and making assorted forms of cutlery, though they’ve sadly given up on ceremonial swords as of 2005. wikipedia claims their tools and equipment for swordsmithing were bought by a cutlery company in Solingen, which supposedly still uses them today. (wonder who might be making the British armed forces’ ceremonial cutlery these days? or have they given up on that tradition entirely?)

  3. Hirudinea says: February 20, 20129:35 pm

    @ Nomen Nescio – I’m sure the Armed Forces still use cermonial swords, but since Wilkinson is out of it they’re probably made of cast pot metal in China. :(

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