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Thomas Ellin & Co Vintage Vulcan Razor

120.45

A Thomas Ellin & Co Vintage Vulcan razor from this Sheffield maker bearing the blade marking “The Prize”. The razor is a 6/8 size and in excellent condition. This Thomas Ellin & Co Vintage Vulcan razor has jimping to the upper and lower tang and has a plain spine. My guess at age would be around the 1940s.

SHAVE READY – Unlike some retailers, our razors are not supplied as they come from the factory. We individually prepare all the razors we sell. For full details see our policy.

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Description

A Thomas Ellin & Co Vintage Vulcan razor from this Sheffield maker bearing the blade marking “The Prize”. The razor is a 6/8 size and in excellent condition. This Thomas Ellin & Co Vintage Vulcan razor has jimping to the upper and lower tang and has a plain spine. My guess at age would be around the 1940s.

SHAVE READY – Unlike some retailers, our razors are not supplied as they come from the factory. We individually prepare all the razors we sell. For full details see our policy.

Thomas Ellin was the eldest and most successful of 3 brothers, left in the care of their grandfather and who were apprenticed as cutlers. Thomas went into partnership with Joseph Oldale, a table knife manufacturer, whose daughter Ann Oldale, he had married.  By 1797, Oldale & Ellin was listed as a manufacturer of table knives in Arundel Street, with the trade mark, ‘OSNABURGH OLDALE’.  After Joseph’s death, Thomas Ellin partnered Oldale’s son, John.

In 1810, the firm rented a water wheel (later known as Ellin or Sylvester Wheel).  However, Ellin was also said to have been the first cutler to use steam-powered machinery and the first to employ circular saws for the cutting of ivory, horn, and bone.  In its day, Ellin’s was amongst the most advanced firms in the cutlery industry.

In 1821, the firm was restyled Thomas Ellin & Co. By now Ellin had recruited a new partner – cutler and grinder Edward Ingall. One of the Ingalls had married one of Joseph Oldale’s daughters.  Under their direction, the business expanded.  Besides Ellin’s Table Knife Works at ‘the foot of Arundel Street’, the firm had forging capacity at Vulcan Works in South Street. Ellin’s Sylvester Works made a wide range of cutlery, which it sold through offices as far afield as Dublin and New York.  Its display at the Great Exhibition, which won an Honourable Mention was angled towards trade knives for shoe makers, glaziers, and farriers; besides butchers’ steels and knives.

The company also made steel.  In 1850, forging, melting, and rolling were switched to the Vulcan Steel Works, which was bounded by Hereford Street and Ellin Street.  A crucial role was played by George Barber, who had joined the company as a boy, and whose father apparently had married an Oldale.  Barber became a partner and for some years lived in Sylvester Works.  In 1851, Barber told the Census that he was the ‘master in [the] firm’, employing 180 workers. By 1881, about 150 workers were employed in the manufacture of table cutlery, pen and pocket knives, Bowies, hunting, palette, butchers’, and plumbers’ knives.

In 1901, a descendant, A. R. Ellin became Master Cutler – the first time a third member of the same family had become Master.  In 1907, Ellin’s became a private limited company, registered a silver mark, and acquired Colquhoun & Cadman and Fawsitt.  Another acquisition was the ‘ERA’ mark of James Barber.  Ellin’s marks were a sailing ship (‘CUTTER’, granted to Joseph Ellin in 1849); ‘VULCAN’ at his forge; ‘SYLVESTER & CO’; ‘MAPLE LEAF’; and ‘LACROSSE’.  In 1915, Ellin’s was one of the first to register a stainless trade mark (‘VULCAN STAINPROOF’).  By 1919, Ellin had also acquired the marks of J. Barlow & Sons, Edward Barber, Longley & Hawksworth, John Shaw, George Woodhead & Sons, Fischer Bros. The Ellin company was formally dissolved in 1980.

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