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97/125/3 Knife and scabbard, and packaging examples, Wiltshire Staysharp series 400, plastic / steel / paper, designed by Wiltshire International, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, made in Japan / Hong Kong, 1983-1984. Click to enlarge.

Wiltshire Staysharp knife and scabbard series 400

Designed
In 1964 a US market survey showed that 80% of Americans didn't know how to sharpen a knife. This inspired Dennis Jackson, a design engineer for Wiltshire Cutlery in Melbourne, who saw an opportunity to create a knife that sharpens itself. In an instant he had identified a whole new range of products with an advantage over any blade ever sold before.

He invented a spring loaded sharpening block inside a sheath or scabbard, which sharpened the knife every time it was taken out or replaced. A number of versions were tested in domestic kitchens in 1966 and two years later Stuart Devlin (who had designed Australia's decimal coins) was hired to create a streamlined plastic scabbard and handle for the knife. It was test marketed in Perth in time for Christmas 1969. The Staysharp was launched in the rest of Australia in August 1970.

In 1971 Wiltshire used a series of ads featuring well known fashion model and mum, Maggie Tabberer and instantly created the perception that their product was fashionable, practical and desirable. Since then more than 8 million Staysharp knives have been sold, with patents and design registrations in 37 countries.

Summary

Object No.

97/125/3

Object Statement

Knife and scabbard, and packaging examples, Wiltshire Staysharp series 400, plastic / steel / paper, designed by Wiltshire International, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, made in Japan / Hong Kong, 1983-1984

Physical Description

Knife, with stainless steel blade and black plastic handle.
White plastic scabbard containing sharpening device.
Packaging, flat, for Staysharp 7 inch self-sharpening vegetable knife.
Packaging, flat, for Staysharp 8 inch self-sharpening chef's knife.

Marks

(-1)Product name engraved on blade, 'wiltshire / STAYSHARP / STAINLESS'. Manufacturing location stamped into underside of handle, 'HONG KONG'.
(-2)White paper adhesive label on side of plastic housing of scabbard, hand written in black ink, '400 SERIES / RELEASED / 1983/84'. Marked in black paint with product name, 'wiltshire / STAYSHARP'.

Dimensions

Height

48 mm

Depth

32 mm

Production

Notes

Designer unknown

Manufactured by Wiltshire International in Japan and Melbourne in 1983-1984

History

Notes

Retained as a production sample by the manufacturer until donated

Source

Credit Line

Gift of Wiltshire International, 1997

Acquisition Date

8 May 1997

Cite this Object

Harvard

Wiltshire Staysharp knife and scabbard series 400 2020, Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, accessed 24 September 2020, <https://ma.as/155346>

Wikipedia

{{cite web |url=https://ma.as/155346 |title=Wiltshire Staysharp knife and scabbard series 400 |author=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences |access-date=24 September 2020 |publisher=Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, Australia}}

Incomplete

This object record is currently incomplete. Other information may exist in a non-digital form. The Museum continues to update and add new research to collection records.