Stainless Steel as we know it today owes one of its most valuable characteristics, a resistance to corrosion, to a combination of low carbon and high chromium. That characteristic was noted for the first time in 1821 by French metallurgist Pierre Berthier. But in 1821, metallurgists’ celebration of this finding was short-sighted.
Even a near century later, the full potential of this non-corrosive metal was still not on the horizon. “Especially Good for Table Cutlery,” reads the subtitle of the 1915 New York Times article boasting the benefits of this fabulous new discovery. The article calls this newfangled metal stainless steel and goes on to detail how easy it is to clean. “This steel is said to be especially adaptable for table cutlery,” the article reads “as the original polish is maintained after use, even when brought in contact with the most acid[ic] foods, and it requires only ordinary washing to cleanse.”
According to the article, this non-rusting steel was nearly double the price of steel ordinarily used for dining cutlery. But fear not, because the non-credited author of this New York Times announcement makes the case that the stainless steel is worth the extra cost in time saved laboring over the dishes.
At Skolnik, we too appreciate stainless steel’s resistance to oxidization and corrosion, but we wouldn’t dare limit such a fantastic material to the dinner table — not when it holds such potential for containment.