Thursday, October 23, 2008

Stanley no. 199

This little wonder of modern material culture doesn't seem to have changed at all since its introduction, at least not that I can tell. It still feels as satisfying in the hand as it did when I was a kid, heavy and made for the palm and with the rattle of blades inside. I went to buy something that would perform its function and was amazed to see that it still exists, apparently unchanged. Someone was selling one (or trying to) on line as an antique for five times what a new one costs that's apparently exactly the same in appearance. Look for it at the top of page 37 in this Stanley Tools on-line catalogue. This picture makes the handle appear to be flat, and it isn't at all. The fleur-de-lis is still part of the design. It's billed as "[t]he original utility knife." Stanley Tools is still in New Britain, Connecticut. It's still made with pride in the U. S. of A., at the Stanley Works, according to the label.


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