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Document Why are penknives called penknives?

8 Jun, 2008

It has never occurred to me that penknives are so called for a reason but I just chanced upon an article which explains that

Penknives were originally used to sharpen quill pens. In 1810, the Bank of England bought a year's supply of 1.5 million quill pens - five pens per clerk per day.
This also suggest that in 1810 the Bank of England had 822 clerks probably doing the job of one computer.

The reason I was thinking about penknives is that a few days ago Benedict Brogan blogged, Not pen-knives, surely in which he comments on Ken Jones of the Association of Chief Police Officers apparently saying, "what good reason would young people have to carry even a penknife?" What's it all coming to?