British Army Scissors (Part 2)

Updated:- My thanks to Adrian Fett for identifying the manufacturer of these scissors.

Just a short post tonight as I share with you another pair of War Department marked scissors I recently found on Huddersfield second hand market for 50p:imageRegular readers may remember we looked at a pair of British Army scissors back here. That pair are , I believe, medical scissors whilst this pair seem to be better at cutting paper so were probably issued as stationary supplies rather than for medical use, with a very different shape to the blades. They have a date of 1945 and the /|\ mark stamped where the two arms cross:imageAs is usual with cutlery in the UK this pair were made in Sheffield. The reverse of the scissors has a maker’s name and logo for ‘Taylors Eye Witness’:image

John Taylor founded a knife and edge tools firm around the year 1820 in St. Phillip’s Road in the Netherthorpe area of the city. In 1838 Taylor applied for and was granted the Eye Witness trademark for his goods, it is said he chose it after being inspired by the line “No eye hath seen such” from Shakespeare’s Henry IV, Part 1. In 1852 Taylor moved to the newly built Eye Witness Works on Milton Street. At the time the works only consisted of five single storey bays and were driven by steam power with a 40-foot chimney stack which is still in place today.

After World War I the firm was hit by the downturn in demand for high quality pocket knives brought on by the invention of stainless steel, but mechanised its production process and survived. The firm started to expand again, taking over several well-known Sheffield cutlery companies and their trademarks. The works continued to enlarge with this upturn in business, with new buildings being added on Thomas Street in 1950. In 1965 Needham, Veall & Tyzack became known as Taylor’s Eye Witness to take advantage of its well-known trade mark. In 1975 it was bought by Harrison Fisher & Co who continued to use the Taylor’s Eye Witness brand name for many of its products as well as producing “own label” goods for department stores including John Lewis, Tesco and Sainsbury’s.

On 1 June 2007 Harrison Fisher & Co Ltd changed its name to Taylors Eye Witness Limited

4 thoughts on “British Army Scissors (Part 2)

  1. Bryan

    Great post! I read your ‘Tales from the Supply’ blog evry week, and really enjoy the posts about equipment and stories not often mentioned anywhere else. I especially like the homeguard/ ARP posts you write. Most forums / blogs are just about armamnets, small arms, bayonets etc., and I appreciate you writing about your collection which covers such an incredible range of artefacts used by the British soldier, in so many roles, throughout so many periods of history. Well done that man! Keep up the good work!

    1. hatchfive Post author

      Thanks for the feedback, I am glad you are enjoying the blog. I keep finding new bits for the collection so I don’t think I am going to run out of material any time soon!


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