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Unusual object, not entirely sure what it is, or was meant to be used for ...

This person doesn't know either :

The third item is also vintage and is made by, the stainless steel impressed with the maker's name - Wraggs, Harwood St. Sheffield England. I really don't know what it is - I feel it may be for stabbing pickled onions while my wife thinks it's some sort of paring tool. It has a registered number, on the other side of the stainless steel from the maker's details, which is 714316 and a patent number 253737.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/VINTAGE-QUALITY-KITC...0QQcmdZViewItem

I have one myself marked "Wraggs..Arundel St...Sheffield" and on reverse "Stainless...Reg No.714316 Pat No.253737"

A devise for preparing grape fruit, oranges etc by Harry Arthur Pinchbeck and Arthur Samuel Pinchbeck who were "WRAGGS" patent applied for in 1925.

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I had a surprise this week. My son-in-law has taken up cookery, (no fool my daughter!) and for his birthday asked for a Richardson Sheffield Chef's knife.

So off I went to the Sheffield shop on Ecclesall Rd, only to be told that they don't stock Richardsons products as they aren't made in Sheffield, and Richardsons moved to Halfway some years ago, but since then seem to have left the area and they didn't know where they are now.

Seemed odd, but after a bit of digging on t'interweb, as far as I can gather, it seems 'Made in Sheffield' is a protected mark, and Richardsons have got round it by changing the name of the company to 'Richardson Sheffield.'

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I had a surprise this week. My son-in-law has taken up cookery, (no fool my daughter!) and for his birthday asked for a Richardson Sheffield Chef's knife.

So off I went to the Sheffield shop on Ecclesall Rd, only to be told that they don't stock Richardsons products as they aren't made in Sheffield, and Richardsons moved to Halfway some years ago, but since then seem to have left the area and they didn't know where they are now.

Seemed odd, but after a bit of digging on t'interweb, as far as I can gather, it seems 'Made in Sheffield' is a protected mark, and Richardsons have got round it by changing the name of the company to 'Richardson Sheffield.'

Doing that is treachery,

According to Robin Day in a famous interview he did many years ago with 2 Japanese businessmen who had started manufacturing ball bearings to a Sheffield steel patent.

This was about the same time that Japan had allegedly set up a district in a Japanese steel / cutlery making City called "Sheffield" (not exactly a Japanese sounding name is it) just so they could mark their stuff with "Sheffield" or even "Made in Sheffield" to treacherously benefit from our top class name for quality in this field.

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I had a surprise this week. My son-in-law has taken up cookery, (no fool my daughter!) and for his birthday asked for a Richardson Sheffield Chef's knife.

So off I went to the Sheffield shop on Ecclesall Rd, only to be told that they don't stock Richardsons products as they aren't made in Sheffield, and Richardsons moved to Halfway some years ago, but since then seem to have left the area and they didn't know where they are now.

Seemed odd, but after a bit of digging on t'interweb, as far as I can gather, it seems 'Made in Sheffield' is a protected mark, and Richardsons have got round it by changing the name of the company to 'Richardson Sheffield.'

Im surprised that they said they dont stock non sheffield items, their shop is full of Chinese and Japanese good supplied to them by David Mellor, this is not an idea I know for sure as I worked there for ten years up to 2008

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Im surprised that they said they dont stock non sheffield items, their shop is full of Chinese and Japanese good supplied to them by David Mellor, this is not an idea I know for sure as I worked there for ten years up to 2008

Are we talking about the same place tozzin? This is the Famous Sheffield Shop on Ecclesall Road just above Berkeley Precinct, rather than the one on Surrey Street?

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dunsbyowl1867

I had a surprise this week. My son-in-law has taken up cookery, (no fool my daughter!) and for his birthday asked for a Richardson Sheffield Chef's knife.

So off I went to the Sheffield shop on Ecclesall Rd, only to be told that they don't stock Richardsons products as they aren't made in Sheffield, and Richardsons moved to Halfway some years ago, but since then seem to have left the area and they didn't know where they are now.

Seemed odd, but after a bit of digging on t'interweb, as far as I can gather, it seems 'Made in Sheffield' is a protected mark, and Richardsons have got round it by changing the name of the company to 'Richardson Sheffield.'

Hmm - I bought some Richardsons knives a while ago thinking I'd be helping support local industry - not impressive. "Design work"?

Wiki states this:

Richardson Sheffield is a major supplier of kitchen knives and scissors to the UK market. It is owned by the Dutch Amefa group.

Established in 1839, the company is headquartered in Sheffield and through many takeovers and successful marketing of its Laser brand in the 1980s [1] became the number one knife brand in the UK.[2]

Financial problems exacerbated by competition eventually led to collapse in 2007 and the brands were bought by Amefa.[3] In common with the majority of Sheffield knifemakers, production has moved abroad. Whilst much design work remains in the city, the products are imported from the Far East. The company retains 'Sheffield' in its name.

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Are we talking about the same place tozzin? This is the Famous Sheffield Shop on Ecclesall Road just above Berkeley Precinct, rather than the one on Surrey Street?

I do know which shop is which and the Famous Sheffield Shop A.K.A. Don Alexanders old shop is on Ecclesall Rd, trust me I know where Mellors Black Handled KItchen Knives come from, I watched them being designed at hathersage then the design was sent to China where they are now made, the only thing Mellors do to these Items is to put David Mellor on the blades of the knives then they are re-packaged and sold at an extortionate profit. Items are bought from China at between $4 to $8 and then re-sold to a maximum £65 per item for the larger knives.

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hilldweller

I had a surprise this week. My son-in-law has taken up cookery, (no fool my daughter!) and for his birthday asked for a Richardson Sheffield Chef's knife.

So off I went to the Sheffield shop on Ecclesall Rd, only to be told that they don't stock Richardsons products as they aren't made in Sheffield, and Richardsons moved to Halfway some years ago, but since then seem to have left the area and they didn't know where they are now.

Seemed odd, but after a bit of digging on t'interweb, as far as I can gather, it seems 'Made in Sheffield' is a protected mark, and Richardsons have got round it by changing the name of the company to 'Richardson Sheffield.'

Many years ago when I worked for a steel firm, we bought a huge Austrian made hardening furnace to produce the special grade of stainless steel for the Richardson Laser range of knives. It had a huge spun steel retort filled with pure hydrogen gas and operating at around 1000/1100 degrees. The hardening was carried out in an extension of the furnace when the hot steel was chilled with a blast of cold pressurised hydrogen gas from a narrow slot. Hydrogen is used because it is a very good conductor of heat and almost inert to hot steel. The outer case of the furnace was pressurised with nitrogen gas at a higher pressure to prevent the hydrogen diffusing through the red hot steel retort. The heating was by electric elements. The safety circuits to prevent explosions filled a cabin big enough to hold a dance in.

At the ends of the retort the steel entered and left through mangle type rollers to keep the hydrogen in.

When the furnace had been in operation for some months we had a panic call from Richardsons. Some sample knives had been sent to America and left in jars of water to prove their rustless properties. Overnight they had developed big holes !

Protracted investigations proved that someone in an attempt to save money had replaced the very expensive worn silicone rollers with a locally produced product made with vulcanised rubber.

The sulpher used in the vulcanisation process had transferred to the hot steel and destroyed it's stainless properties.

We had some scary moments with that furnace, if the factory bulk hydrogen supply failed, bottles of compressed hydrogen came into play. If they ran out the remaining hydrogen was flushed out with shop or bottled nitrogen gas as a last resort. The consequences of no flow into the furnace and air getting in would have been catastrophic.

it's all gone now, to be replaced with a shopping mall and housing.

HD

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I do know which shop is which and the Famous Sheffield Shop A.K.A. Don Alexanders old shop is on Ecclesall Rd, trust me I know where Mellors Black Handled KItchen Knives come from, I watched them being designed at hathersage then the design was sent to China where they are now made, the only thing Mellors do to these Items is to put David Mellor on the blades of the knives then they are re-packaged and sold at an extortionate profit. Items are bought from China at between $4 to $8 and then re-sold to a maximum £65 per item for the larger knives.

Sorry tozzin, just making sure we were both on about the same place. I know Sheffield Scene have always stocked some non-Sheffield stuff, but I thought Don Alexander's shop was strictly kosher. What you say is quite an eye-opener, and quite shocking!

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Sorry tozzin, just making sure we were both on about the same place. I know Sheffield Scene have always stocked some non-Sheffield stuff, but I thought Don Alexander's shop was strictly kosher. What you say is quite an eye-opener, and quite shocking!

I would say that 90% of David Mellor cutlery in the Sheffield Shop is made mainly in Japan, this includes their table cutlery range, if I remember the only cutlery made on site in Hathersage are, Provencale, City, white handled Pride knives, Pride S/S knives & EPNS ,English S/S & EPNS, Child Sets, plus another square black plastic handled knives, the blades that they use are bought in already polished from Japan. and of course the black handled stuff is Chinese BUT their Sterling Silver is made on site.

I must stress that this imported cutlery is of good quality, I just dont like the fact that prospective customers are never told, if anyone goes and asks to see the black handled kitchen range being made they will be told that they are not doing that range at the moment.

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Many years ago when I worked for a steel firm, we bought a huge Austrian made hardening furnace to produce the special grade of stainless steel for the Richardson Laser range of knives. It had a huge spun steel retort filled with pure hydrogen gas and operating at around 1000/1100 degrees. The hardening was carried out in an extension of the furnace when the hot steel was chilled with a blast of cold pressurised hydrogen gas from a narrow slot. Hydrogen is used because it is a very good conductor of heat and almost inert to hot steel. The outer case of the furnace was pressurised with nitrogen gas at a higher pressure to prevent the hydrogen diffusing through the red hot steel retort. The heating was by electric elements. The safety circuits to prevent explosions filled a cabin big enough to hold a dance in.

At the ends of the retort the steel entered and left through mangle type rollers to keep the hydrogen in.

When the furnace had been in operation for some months we had a panic call from Richardsons. Some sample knives had been sent to America and left in jars of water to prove their rustless properties. Overnight they had developed big holes !

Protracted investigations proved that someone in an attempt to save money had replaced the very expensive worn silicone rollers with a locally produced product made with vulcanised rubber.

The sulpher used in the vulcanisation process had transferred to the hot steel and destroyed it's stainless properties.

We had some scary moments with that furnace, if the factory bulk hydrogen supply failed, bottles of compressed hydrogen came into play. If they ran out the remaining hydrogen was flushed out with shop or bottled nitrogen gas as a last resort. The consequences of no flow into the furnace and air getting in would have been catastrophic.

it's all gone now, to be replaced with a shopping mall and housing.

HD

Using hydrogen with hot / molten steel processing, including welding, is quite common to prevent oxidation / rusting of the hot metal should it come into contact with air / oxygen while still hot.

As you point out HD, a mixture of air / oxygen when mixed with hydrogen can be extremely explosive, but is usually easily avoided and is obviously well worth the additional risk for the quality of the steel produced.

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Using hydrogen with hot / molten steel processing, including welding, is quite common to prevent oxidation / rusting of the hot metal should it come into contact with air / oxygen while still hot.

As you point out HD, a mixture of air / oxygen when mixed with hydrogen can be extremely explosive, but is usually easily avoided and is obviously well worth the additional risk for the quality of the steel produced.

Anyone wondering about the reaction between hydrogen and oxygen (or even air) should watch this 1937 film of the final flight of the hydrogen filled airship the Hindenberg.

<object width="420" height="315"><param name="movie" value="<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFptgQ8GA_U?version=3&amp;hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0"></param><param">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFptgQ8GA_U?version=3&amp;hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lFptgQ8GA_U?version=3&amp;hl=en_GB&amp;rel=0" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="420" height="315" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true"></embed></object>

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hilldweller

Using hydrogen with hot / molten steel processing, including welding, is quite common to prevent oxidation / rusting of the hot metal should it come into contact with air / oxygen while still hot.

As you point out HD, a mixture of air / oxygen when mixed with hydrogen can be extremely explosive, but is usually easily avoided and is obviously well worth the additional risk for the quality of the steel produced.

Most of the annealing operations carried out on steel strip or wire were carried out in an atmosphere of hydrogen although the initial heat treatment of strip was carried out in an atmosphere of "cracked ammonia" i.e. a mixture of nitrogen and hydrogen. This was burnt off after flowing through the furnaces and produced a horrible smell in the annealing shop. The majority of the furnaces were pits in the floor although the larger ones were "top hat furnaces" which were lowered over a retort containing the steel strip.

Most of the pure hydrogen atmosphere furnaces were lit at the ends when tests proved that the gas coming out was devoid of oxygen. To limit the flow of expensive hydrogen wads of ceramic fibre were stuffed in the retort ends. On one occasion the wadding fell out of one end and the retort tube fired with a tremendous crack. The wadding at the other end which weighed a few grams flew about 30 yards and hit me in the back as I stood working at a control panel and caused a bruise the size of my hand.

The large furnace I referred to was not fired but the gas allowed to rise out through the roof vents. Every few weeks there would be a loud noise from the roof and all that could be seen were thousands of burning dust fragments as they fell through the burning hydrogen cloud which was invisible.

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Most of the annealing operations carried out on steel strip or wire were carried out in an atmosphere of hydrogen although the initial heat treatment of strip was carried out in an atmosphere of "cracked ammonia" i.e. a mixture of nitrogen and hydrogen. This was burnt off after flowing through the furnaces and produced a horrible smell in the annealing shop. The majority of the furnaces were pits in the floor although the larger ones were "top hat furnaces" which were lowered over a retort containing the steel strip.

I take it that the "horrible smell" would be ammonia. The catalytic thermal cracking of ammonia into nitrogen and hydrogen is a reversible equilibrium so there will always be some uncracked (or reformed) ammonia in the mixture.

While nitrogen is inert and will not easily react with steel (unlike oxygen) hydrogen is reducing and acts somewhat differently to an inert atmosphere. It will actually reduce iron oxide back to iron and so not only prevent but also reverse the oxidation process.

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On one occasion the wadding fell out of one end and the retort tube fired with a tremendous crack. The wadding at the other end which weighed a few grams flew about 30 yards and hit me in the back as I stood working at a control panel and caused a bruise the size of my hand.

That reminds me.

In the week before Christmas I had been demonstrating a "methane rocket" to groups of students who had been studying combustion.

This consists of a plastic drink bottle of about 330ml capacity which has been filled with the correct 2:1 ratio by volume of oxygen and natural gas from the gas tap.

When lit with a wooden taper on the end of a metre rule for safety there is a load bang and the bottle is propelled forward, bottom end first, at a rate of knots.

We have a risk assessment in place and a safety procedure to cover this and can safely launch it horizontally in a 10 metre wide laboratory at the opposite wall with a risk of rebound not greater than 1.5 metres (so a 4 metre safety zone is adequate)

I had demonstrated several of these safely, with the rockets target being either a fibreboard notice board (which gets slightly dented by the impact, but easily covered with posters / kids work / drawing pin and staple holes / backing paper /etc) or the bare wall which is painted breeze block (which is hard enough to remain undamaged)

However, on this one occasion i was in another laboratory (not mine) in which the breeze block wall was an exterior wall rather than an interior one and as such had been plastered and smoothed before painting. When the rocket (empty plastic bottle) hit it the plaster cracked and broke, leaving some large cracks radiating out from the point of impact.

The kids thought it was brilliant.

I am still expecting some come back on this, - a bill to replaster and paint the wall for example.

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hilldweller

I take it that the "horrible smell" would be ammonia. The catalytic thermal cracking of ammonia into nitrogen and hydrogen is a reversible equilibrium so there will always be some uncracked (or reformed) ammonia in the mixture.

While nitrogen is inert and will not easily react with steel (unlike oxygen) hydrogen is reducing and acts somewhat differently to an inert atmosphere. It will actually reduce iron oxide back to iron and so not only prevent but also reverse the oxidation process.

The fuel technologists who looked after the hydrogen apparatus used to arrange for a small gas flame to be kept burning in the valve cabinets. This was to fire any escaping hydrogen before any volume of gas built up. It reminded me of old "Pop Gregory" the Central Tech chemistry teacher, who used to leave a bunsen burning 24/7 in the "stinks cabinet" containing the "Kipps Apparatus".

I think I mentioned before that one day the safety valve sheared off the static hydrogen dump and hundreds of cylinders charged at 2500 psi discharged to atmosphere making a terrific whistle that lasted for about an hour it seemed at the time. I often wonder if that was our small contribution to global warming.

HD

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It reminded me of old "Pop Gregory" the Central Tech chemistry teacher, who used to leave a bunsen burning 24/7 in the "stinks cabinet" containing the "Kipps Apparatus".

HD

Pop Gregory must be something of a legend as chemistry teachers go.

When I went to Ashleigh on Gleadless Road, the latter day, Comprehensive version of Central Technical School, in the early 1970's to do A-levels the new chemistry teachers there like Doctor Richardson (or Doc Dick as madannie called him) would still relate anecdotal tales of "old Pop Gregory"

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hilldweller

Pop Gregory was a legend in his own lunchtime. My memories are of the "Chemistry Club" held on Thursday evenings from memory. Pop would ask us which experiments we were each going to do, he would then tell us that he would be available if needed in his room downstairs. He would then waddle across to the Red Lion, Holly Street, and we would attempt to produce the loudest explosion we could with the available chemicals. Our textbook at the time was a volume about 3 inches thick by A. J. Mee. It's a good job the internet wasn't available to us otherwise we would have tried to produce some of the more spectacular H. E.'s.

Pop was heavily into all things shooting related and could reduce a boisterous class to silence when they realized an extremely large punt gun was being ranged on them over the top of the front bench.

I didn't enjoy the culture at the school with it's ridiculous school song and the staff wearing mortar boards and gowns.

When the entire class with the exception of me and a mate were caught shoplifting one lunchtime, (we were trainspotting at the time), we were accused by virtually all the teachers of "not being team players" because we hadn't been involved. Mr. Wadge was most displeased when we could prove our innocence with Victoria Station platform tickets.

HD

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Pop Gregory was a legend in his own lunchtime. My memories are of the "Chemistry Club" held on Thursday evenings from memory. Pop would ask us which experiments we were each going to do, he would then tell us that he would be available if needed in his room downstairs. He would then waddle across to the Red Lion, Holly Street, and we would attempt to produce the loudest explosion we could with the available chemicals. Our textbook at the time was a volume about 3 inches thick by A. J. Mee. It's a good job the internet wasn't available to us otherwise we would have tried to produce some of the more spectacular H. E.'s.

Pop was heavily into all things shooting related and could reduce a boisterous class to silence when they realized an extremely large punt gun was being ranged on them over the top of the front bench.

In my years as both a student and a teacher of chemistry I have come across several of these legendary, if somewhat eccentric chemistry teachers, no two of which have been the same but all of them put across the subject in their own very unique ways.

Funny thing is though, as I have got older and become the longest serving chemistry teacher at the school I work at (I frequently get kids saying "Sir, - You taught my dad / mum / auntie / uncle / cousin / other elder generation relative, can you remember them. They can remember you") I seem to have developed a bit of a character of my own along with that sort of eccentricity that comes with age. Perhaps I am becoming a legend in my own lunchtime, - which used to be 1 hour 10 minutes but is now only 50 minutes.

Or perhaps I should just take early retirement while the going is good.

I have often told kids with the "You taught my dad" line that when a kid comes to me and says "You taught my grandad" and can prove it then I will retire.

I have a feeling that the day that will happen is not too far off.

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About 1974, Chaucer (Lower) School, Physics teacher, covering for Chemistry teacher demonstrating sodium being dropped into water and covered with a large, thick glass domed-thing - result, explosion and the front page of The Star.

... However, on this one occasion i was in another laboratory (not mine) ...

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About 1974, Chaucer (Lower) School, Physics teacher, covering for Chemistry teacher demonstrating sodium being dropped into water and covered with a large, thick glass domed-thing - result, explosion and the front page of The Star.

Sodium and water is a standard school demonstration on alkali metal reactivity.

One of our lessons on this was being covered for an absent chemistry teacher by a biology teacher.

He was advised for safety that when cutting the sodium to use a piece "the size of a pea", meaning the size of one actual pea seed.

Being a biologist, he interpreted this as being a pod about 4 or 5 inches long, and cut the sodium appropriately.

Result, - an explosion and a very lucky excape.

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Sodium and water is a standard school demonstration on alkali metal reactivity.

One of our lessons on this was being covered for an absent chemistry teacher by a biology teacher.

He was advised for safety that when cutting the sodium to use a piece "the size of a pea", meaning the size of one actual pea seed.

Being a biologist, he interpreted this as being a pod about 4 or 5 inches long, and cut the sodium appropriately.

Result, - an explosion and a very lucky excape.

Seems to be quite common! In our case it was a PE teacher covering a chemistry lesson. Bowl of water, oversize bit of sodium, result, no eyebrows.

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Seems to be quite common! In our case it was a PE teacher covering a chemistry lesson. Bowl of water, oversize bit of sodium, result, no eyebrows.

He was lucky then, clearly wasn't wearing safety goggles.

Had he been hit or even splashed in the eye with the solution it forms (sodium hydoxide), a very caustic alkali, it would quickly strip the cornea off the front of his eye and he would be lucky to get away without losing his eyesight.

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He was lucky then, clearly wasn't wearing safety goggles.

Had he been hit or even splashed in the eye with the solution it forms (sodium hydoxide), a very caustic alkali, it would quickly strip the cornea off the front of his eye and he would be lucky to get away without losing his eyesight.

We're talking early 60's, never saw a science teacher (or anyone else) wear goggles.

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We're talking early 60's, never saw a science teacher (or anyone else) wear goggles.

Come to think of it, neither did I, - and I didn't wear them myself either.

We even used to measure out exact volumes of dangerous liquids in volumetric pipetttes by sucking it up as though the pipette was a drinking straw rather than using one of those sucking devices made especially for the purpose.

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