Weaponry Or Sharp Things

or motorbikes

Weaponry Or Sharp Things

Just read this from Russell Davies, about how after technological progress makes things defunct, there's still enough of a rump market to make a good living if you're one of the last businesses left in that particular game. It made me think of something that occurred to me many years ago when I chanced upon a sword manufactured by Wilkinson Sword. These days, Wilkinson Sword is a razor company—but if they used to manufacture swords, I thought, and had been around for long enough, that means there must have been a point where it became clear where the wind was blowing as regards to the cutting edge (lol) of military technology being projectile-based.

So Mr Wilkinson or Mr Wilkinson II or Mr Wilkinson III or whoever must have sat down and thought: right, are we going to change to make other sharp things, or carry on doing weaponry? And with that framing, clearly—you're either completely changing the items you manufacture, or your entire business model. It'd be like the buggy whip manufacturers either continuing to make whips, to be sold to equestrians or consumers with a prurient interest, or moving into making fuel injection systems.

(However, if you look up Wilkinson Sword, the reality is even weirder—they started as a gun company selling arms during the US Revolutionary War (and, to be fair, bayonets a little after) and didn't start making swords until the 1850s, moved into razors at the end of the 1800s, then a brief digression into motorbikes(?), back into arms during the world wars and then settled down into a postwar trade in razors, gardening tools and ceremonial swords (until their sword factory closed in 2005). Business can be very strange.

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