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Learn more, including about available controls: Cookies Policy.John Russell was born March 30, 1797 in Greenfield, Massachusetts. Little is known of his early life, except that he received a good education.Clapp provided ,000 to rebuild the factory, dam and bridge that had been at that location.The new factory had one building which housed the forging room with twelve trip hammers.Knives which passed the inspection were considered to be perfect.The process was slow and tedious, but resulted in the finest knives then being made in the world.
The factory had barely been set up when on March 15, 1836 a fire burned out the forging shop and production was halted. The reconstruction had hardly commenced when a major flood swept away the dam and most of the buildings.
Then in 1832 Russell made what was intended to be a short visit to see family and friends back in Greenfield.
After two years of idleness, Russell was anxious to become again involved in a career.
At age 35, he had no prior experience or background in cutlery manufacturing, and seems to have chosen this business on an emotional basis, being heavily influenced by the "Practical Tourist" a book published in 1832. Sheffield, England was then a center for cutlery making which set the standard of quality against which other cutlery making centers, such as Solingen, Germany were judged.