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Thread: 8/8 Abraham Leon Sheffield

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    Default 8/8 Abraham Leon Sheffield

    Another something different for all the world to see. I'm hoping some of our keen and industrious razor historians might be able to unearth some information on Mr. Leon. I couldn't find a thing, except his name in a directory from the 1840's.

    This razor was built with utility in mind I'm guessing. She didn't get any swoopy grinds, or artistic touches. Just a big old blade, and a full hollow grind. Shaves grrrreeeaaat!

    A. Leon
    190 Solly Street
    Sheffield
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    That's a mighty nice razor!!
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    Historically Inquisitive Martin103's Avatar
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    I did find many entries in various directory and part of the great exposition of 1851. great looking blade! Enjoy!
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    Abraham Leon was a merchant and cutlery manufacturer in Solly Street, where he had been based since at least 1849. He had been born in about 1819 in Mecklenburg, Germany, and probably came to Sheffield with his parents, Abraham and Eve Leon. The later were living in Lambert Street. By 1861, Abraham Leon in Solly Street had married Henrietta (from Hanover) and both became naturalised. Leon made rapid progress. With the income from selling table cutlery, razors, spring knives and Bowies, he soon had a house in Endcliffe Vale. Leon Bowie knives appear to be rare. The blade carries the words "Washingtonian" and "A Friend in Need is a Friend Indeed". It's stamped with the letters: "O*K".
    By 1881, Leon had retired to Lime Lodge, Wells Road, in Bath. The business was listed in Solly Street until the mid-1890s, but it had switched to steel and files. Abraham Leon died in Bath on 23 June 1897, aged 79.
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    I have a Leon, more wedgey than yours. All I know about the maker mirrors the information above. However, I think you will find it is a good shaver, or at least I hope you do - mine is tremendous.

    Abraham Leon Sheffield Quarter Hollow

    James.
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    That is one fine looking blade. No nonsense, nothing too much, just a big blade that will shave you well.
    Hollow ground. Sweet. :-)

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    That's a nice one , Justin .
    Greetings , from Dundalk , Maryland . The place where normal people , fear to go .

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Here's a little more info than can be found in the sources above (Tweedales Sheffield Directory and the Great Exhibition list of entrants), taken mainly from census listings and trade directories:

    1837
    No listings in directory of this year.

    1846
    196 Solly Street is occupied by John Cartwright, a turner and pen blade manufacturer.

    1851
    Abraham Leon is listed as a "hardware merchant" at No.7 Solly Street, Sheffield.
    His father, Abraham (53 yrs old), and mother Eve (50 yrs old) and their children (Jane, 27; Rica, 26; Sophia, 22; Aborris - son - 17; Alexander, 13 and Lair - son - 9) are living at No. 5 Lambert Street. The father's profession is given as "turner."

    1852
    Now at N0. 196 Solly Street, Abraham is listed as a "merchant."
    Another directory of the same year lists him as a "merchant & dagger knife, &c. manufacturer" at the same address.

    1857
    Still at 196 Solly Street, this time listed as a "cutlery and hardware dealer".

    1861
    Now listed as a "cutlery manufacturer" and having a private residence at No. 17 Endcliffe Vale, Abraham lives with his wife Henrietta, brother Edward Leon ('gentleman') and Edward's wife Emma.

    1871
    Abraham Leon is now at 190 Solly Street and listed in the directory of that year as a "merchant and cutlery manufacturer."
    190 solly Street is also used as the address of J. Baker, cutlery manufacturer and E. M. Oakes, scissor manufacturer, in the same year.

    1880
    Still at the same address, but now listed as a "table cutlery manufacturer".

    1881
    Abraham has now moved to Somerset - 228 Oldfield Park Prime Lodge where he is now listed as "steel merchant" and "ironmonger." He is 62 yrs old. Residing with them are his son Joseph, a London University undergraduate, their daughter Golda, a student at Bath High School and their servant - Eliza Biddiscombe.

    1891
    Still in somerset, but now at 236 Lime Lodge, Abraham is now listed as a "steel manufacturer." Son Joseph - now a clerk and daughter Golda are still living with them, but they now have no servant.

    In all the above references, nowhere does 'razor manufacturer' crop up, which I find quite curious. Other companies, although listed as cutlery manufacturers, steel makers, etc, also have listings to the effect that they made razors. Even the 1851 Exhibition records only knives, etc - no razors. The last listings for the Solly Street address in the 1890s only lists steel and files. Undoubtedly he sold razors, but did he actually make them or even have the premises and grinding wheels to have them made, or were they bought-in stamped with his name in his capacity as 'merchant, and 'hardware dealer'?

    There were steel and razor works in Solly Street, and quite a few well-known razor-makers and allied trades such as Charles Pickslay razor maker (No. 60), T & B Fenton razor makers, Francis Townsend knife maker(198), James Crawshaw razor maker, Wheeldon Works steel refiners and cutlery dealers (239), Henry Boulter razor case maker (163), William Kirk pen and pocket knife maker, William Morton pen and pocket knife maker (238), W. Oakes spring knife maker (271), Thomas Savage razor maker, Joseph Shipman pen and pocket knife maker, John Taylor penknife maker, Wilson & Southern, razor makers, etc, etc. It was certainly a hive of industry!

    Regards,
    Neil

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    Very interesting Neil! So perhaps Abraham never made a razor......... but nevertheless glad you included his daughter in your post!

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    Senior Member blabbermouth
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    Quote Originally Posted by Martin103 View Post
    Very interesting Neil! So perhaps Abraham never made a razor......... but nevertheless glad you included his daughter in your post!
    Well, I was beginning to think that you were getting the idea I was a bit sexist, Martin (whereas in fact I am very sexist! )

    Regards,
    Neil
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