American Silversmiths

Timothy Ropes
Sarah Delhonde
David Nichols Ropes


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1. Lydia Laurelia Bisbee

David Nichols Ropes
  • Born: 5 Dec 1814, Salem MA
  • Marriage (1): Lydia Laurelia Bisbee on 6 Oct 1846

  General notes:

Jeweler and manufacturer

  Events in his life were:

  • He worked in 1825 as a merchant in Salem MA
  • He was a partner circa 1827-1834 with George Ropes in Portland ME establishing the first cutlery manufactury in the country.
  • He was a partner in 1845 with Julius Pratt and ? Webb in Meriden CT as PRATT, ROPES, WEBB & Co. cutlery manufacturers.

  • He was issued patent number 6,482 on 29 May 1849


    Specification of Letters Patent No. 6,482, dated May 29, 1849.

    To all whom it may concern:
    Be it known that I, David N. Ropes, of Meriden, in the county of New Haven and State of Connecticut, have invented a new and useful mode of fastening the haft or handle of either a table knife or fork or other article of cutlery to its tang whereby there may be no appearance on the external surface of the said handle of any rivet; and I do hereby declare that the same is fully described and represented in the following specification and accompanying drawings, letters, figures, and references thereof.
    My improvement is particularly applicable to that kind of cutlery known by the name of "Round tang," in which the tang is so inserted within the handle that it becomes entirely invisible in consequence of being covered on all sides by the handle.
    The peculiar kind alluded to differs from what is usually termed the " scale or flat tang," which exhibits the appearance of the tang on one or two sides of the handle; the handle generally consisting of two plates of ivory or other proper material riveted to the flat tang.
    Of the said drawings, Figure 1, denotes a side view of the blade of a knife, and the tang thereof, made on my improved plan. Fig. 2, is an edge view of the same. Fig. 3, is a view of the upper end of the handle, or that which shuts against the bolster. Fig. 4, is a transverse section of the handle taken through the stud recess to be hereinafter described. Fig. 5, is a longitudinal and central section of the handle and blade. Fig. 6, is a diagonal and longitudinal section of the handle taken through the entrance passages for the studs. Fig. 7, is an external elevation of the knife complete.
    Having prepared the blade and the handle in the ordinary way, that is with a tang A, on the blade C, and a socket B, in the handle D, for the reception of the said tang, before cementing them together by cement, I make one or more projections a, b, on one or more sides of the tang, and so as to extend therefrom substantially as seen in Figs. 1, and 2. These projections I term stationary projections, because they are immovably fixed to the tang, or cannot when so fixed be moved independently of it. If they were fixed to one end of a spring whose opposite end was fastened to the tang, I should consider them as movable or not stationary projections.
    Each of these projections should extend from the tang far enough to enter the recess e, made in the handle and laterally out of the main tang passage B, in such manner as will enable the tang to be inserted in place and turned around so as to bring the blade into the proper position it is to have with regard to the handle when they are cemented together.
    Leading out of one or both sides of the tang passage B, and in a diagonal position as seen in Fig. 3, I make a. downward or entrance passage e, for each of the studs or projections before named; and when said passage has been made to a sufficient depth in the handle to allow the upper end of the handle to abut against the bolster (when the tang is inserted in the handle,) I connect with it, that is I open it into a lateral passage /, cut at right angles to it, and in such manner as to enable me to turn or rotate the tang and blade on their common longitudinal axis, and bring the handle and blade into the position they are to occupy when cemented together. While the projection or projections, are in the lateral recess or recesses they prevent the tang from being drawn out of the handle.
    When the handle is to be applied to the tang cement is first to be applied, in the usual manlier, and the tang afterwards inserted and laterally rotated so as to bring the projections therefrom into their confining recesses ; it being understood that such recesses are not to be made to extend through the handle so as to exhibit on the external surface of the handle any appearance of the studs or projections.
    In some cases the socket in the handle for the reception of the tang may be elongated or large enough to dispense with or include the recesses e, e, one or more lateral passages being made therefrom at right or other proper angles, and for the reception of the stud or studs. As this would be the means adapted by persons disposed to pirate or evade my invention, I mention the same in order to show that it contains the principles thereof, and is essentially the same in character.
    What I claim as my invention isó
    The above described mode of constructing and combining or fixing together the handle and tang of the blade of a knife or piece of cutlery; the same consisting in making the said tang with one or more stationary studs or projections, in combination with making the main tang passage of the handle with lateral and transverse passages for the entrance and reception of the said projection or projections, during the process of cementing, all substantially as hereinbefore specified ; the handle by such means being firmly secured to the blade or tang thereof, and so as to permit no appearance of any rivet on 10 its external surface.
    In testimony whereof I have hereto set my signature this twenty seventh day of April, 1849.

    David N. Ropes

    E. H. Eddy
    Francis Gould
  • He appeared on the 1860 census taken at Orange NJ, listed as a merchant.
  • He appeared on the 1880 census taken at Orange NJ, listed as the president of the Vulcanite Jewelry Co.

David married Lydia Laurelia Bisbee on 6 Oct 1846. (Lydia Laurelia Bisbee was born on 10 Aug 1826 in Hartford CT.)

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