The history of Ernest Wright reflects everything Sheffield Steel has become famous for.
Highly skilled craftsmen making supreme quality products. A lot has changed since the heydays of manufacturing, but we’re proud to be here and able to pass on the heritage of an ancient craft.
The Wright family have been involved in the boring, hardening and tempering of scissors since at least the 1800’s.
As far back as records go, Walter Wright – a renowned ‘Little Mester’ of Sheffield – specialised in finishing scissor blades as an outworker and was also referred to as ‘Master Scissor Putter-togetherer’.
A scissor putter-togetherer is the proud title given to the holder of a five-year-to-fully-apprenticed skill set and trade, known and still used by our craftsmen today.
Since Walter Wright moved into the scissors industry, successive generations have joined the trade. Walter’s son, Ernest, followed in his father’s footsteps to ultimately found the company in 1902. After him, Ernest Wright junior and his sons Graham and Philip Wright all took their turn in running this family business. Finally, fifth generation scissor maker Nick Wright stepped in, until his untimely passing in 2018.
Although not a family operated business anymore, its new owners are fully committed to keeping the Wright-heritage alive. It’s their ambition to prove Ernest Wright is not a museum of a disappearing craft, but a vivid company that produces the finest quality of scissors by hand for a discerning, worldwide audience.
Paul Jacobs and Jan Bart Fanoy, two Kickstarter-backers, could simply not accept the fact that after 116 years, the art of scissor-making was on the verge of disappearing from Sheffield. In 2018 they took action and bought all assets from the Receiver, with the single objective to rescue a great brand, product and heritage. They immediately re-hired master-putters Eric and Cliff and brought back long-time employee Pam Addy.
Ernest Wright has since strengthened its focus on quality and legacy. The team has taken on several apprentice putters, including Sam Clark, who became the first trainee of the company’s current iteration to qualify fully as a putter. Vintage patterns of scissors, including general purpose, paper hanger and quilting models, have been brought back into production, and despite the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, work has continued on reintroducing the Kutrite pattern of kitchen scissors, which is set to go into production in winter 2020.