Combined knife and fork, Europe, 1914-1918

Made:
1914-1918 in Europe

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Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Combined knife and fork for one-armed man, silver-plate, Nelson pattern, from Royal United Service Institution, World War 1

Eating a meal using only one hand can be difficult. The design of this combined knife and fork is known as a Nelson pattern, named after Horatio Nelson (1758-1805), the British naval hero who lost an arm during the Battle of the Nile in 1798. He was presented with a similar knife made from gold.

This silver plated knife dates from the First World War. Many of the thousands of arm amputees from that conflict were issued with these Nelson knives as part of their rehabilitation. A simple but highly effective design, Nelson knives are still available today.

This example was previously owned by the Royal United Services Institute. They were established in 1831 and continue to research and study every aspect of national defence and security, including military tactics and terrorism.

Details

Category:
Orthopaedics
Collection:
Sir Henry Wellcome's Museum Collection
Object Number:
A635095
Materials:
complete, iron and silver (metal)
type:
combined knife and fork