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Old 30th August 2010, 02:37 PM   #1
Dmitry
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Default Origin of the term Eisenhauer

This blade inscription often appears on Solingen-made blades of the second half of the 1800s. Eisenhauer, i.e. an 'iron-cutter' marked blades indicated a particularly high quality [nothing more than a marketing trick, in my opinion].
However, I have seen at least two blades marked Eisenhauer, which, at least in their appearance, may date well prior to the 1850s. What is the earliest example of the blade marked Eisenhauer that you have seen?
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Old 31st August 2010, 07:21 AM   #2
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This is really a good question, and it seems pretty well established that this term indeed appears on blades of mid 19th and into 20th century Germany; also that it is often mistaken for a makers name.
According to John Walter in "Sword and Bayonet Makers of Imperial Germany" blades were designated 'eisenhauerklinge' or 'iron cutter' as a declaration of quality, with similar terms in Belgium and a number of other countries.

Jean Binck had noted (2003) that it was a practice of early Passau swordsmiths to test blades by placing iron wire on a piece of wood, so its not as if the blade was to cut into iron plate. It does not seem that the term itself was used on blades until the 19th century. It is important to note that the quality of sword blades was obviously of key importance, and this implied guarantee was typically the purpose of the trade and guild markings which became so widely copied, the wolf and sickle marks among the best known.

In the latter 18th century, there was considerable competition between English swordsmiths and the imported German blades from Solingen which brought about what became known as the 'sword scandals' colloquially.
One of the main proponents for the English cause was Thomas Gill, who began marking his blades in 1788 with 'warranted never to fail', with several other makers following with variations of the phrase.

The imported German blades, aside from those marked by importer JJ Runkel, were often unmarked. The practice of these warranted phrases or the word alone seems to have carried into about the end of the Napoleonic Period on English sword blades, and by the mid 19th century the advent of proof marks took the place of these warranty notices on British swords.

It does seem quite plausible that the German use of this pronouncement of power or quality may have evolved out of the conflict mentioned, or simply as noted, a marketing device.

Other examples of pronouncing or guarantee of blade quality in terms would be that of Andrea Ferara on well known Solingen blades, typically for Scotland. It has been suggested by a number of arms writers through the years that this may be a term, 'Andrea =true, trustworthy; Ferara= iron', rather than a name..obviously the subject of ongoing dispute.

I once spent a great deal of effort having a Manchu inscription of only several characters translated (not many out there reading this from a blade on a willow leaf sabre......hoping for something meaningful, it simply expressed 'tempered steel' .......apparantly significant note of quality in the 18th century in China in this same fashion.
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Old 31st August 2010, 02:51 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim McDougall

It has been suggested by a number of arms writers through the years that this may be a term, 'Andrea =true, trustworthy; Ferara= iron', rather than a name..obviously the subject of ongoing dispute.


That is cool! Makes sense. I've never heard this interpretation before.

Tonight I will post a couple of photos of the Eisenhauer inscriptions on the blades that, in my opinion, date prior to the 1850s.
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Old 31st August 2010, 05:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dmitry
That is cool! Makes sense. I've never heard this interpretation before.

Tonight I will post a couple of photos of the Eisenhauer inscriptions on the blades that, in my opinion, date prior to the 1850s.


Thanks Dmitry!!! Looking forward to the eisenhauer inscriptions, I had never realized the placement of the term hadn't been used before mid 19th c.
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Old 31st August 2010, 09:23 PM   #5
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Blade no.1.

This just ended on eBay. If you look really close, you will see the Eisenhauer markings on both sides of the blade.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...e=STRK:MEWAX:IT

Two things can be assumed -

1.This is indeed an 18th century Hungarian blade, with an early Eisenhauer mark.

2.This is a mid to late 1800s German-made blade in the earlier Hungarian style, decorated with a Hungarian motto, and made either for Hungary around the time of the 1848 rebellion, or a blade made specifically for the Middle-Eastern market, emulating the Hungarian style as a mark of quality. Let's not forget that Solingen was producing archaic-looking blades for Ethiopia well into the 20th century.

So, which is it?
We will find out!
As the man said, "Oh, do not ask, “What is it?” Let us go and make our visit."

Example no.2 is coming up later.
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Old 1st September 2010, 01:41 AM   #6
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Looks like a well worn Bedouin sabre with the typical Syrian hilt style, the blade ? ...according to Robert Elgood (citing Burton, 1855) it is noted on p.22 ("The Arms and Armour of Arabia") that;
"...the shintayan is the common sword blade of the Badawin, in Western Arabia; it is called Majar (from the Magyars?) and is said to be of German manufacture".
Elgood notes that these were distinctive blades, often with an etched hussar, and popular from the Caucusus to South Arabia. These were usually regarded as Hungarian, though typically Solingen produced to meet demands, and known to have been Daghestani made as well. These were based on 18th to 19th century cavalry sabre blades.

One of my earliest collected sabres was presented as an 18th c. Hungarian hussars sabre, and had similar etched motto (not Eisenhauer) on the blade, while the hilt was of Ottoman pistol grip type. The quillons were remarkably stubby as I recall. It was not until years later that I learned this was actually a Bedouin sabre and of the 19th century. I later saw a number of sabres with Syrian hilts and Hungarian inscribed blades being hawked again as Hungarian 'patriotic sabres'. ...again clearly Arab swords.

In my impression this is a Solingen trade blade, and the Eisenhauer being a quality term as discussed, probably in the 19th century period, I do not recall seeing this term on the other sabres I described.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 1st September 2010, 05:09 PM   #7
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This is great and very useful information, Jim. Thanks.
I'll be ordering that book presently.

Example no.2.

The theme of the decorations on the blade is the same as the example no.1, but executed differently.
After reading what you wrote regarding the Majar blades, it's probable that both of these blades are from the mid to late 1800s. My assertion that the term Eisenhauer may pre-date mid-1800s is beginning to crumble. Knowledge is a dangerous thing!

I am certain that the explanation and origins of Eisenhauer are to be found in the German language books on the subject. One day it'll come up.
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Old 2nd September 2010, 05:14 AM   #8
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I'm glad to be able to add some information on this great topic, and think you are right, there has to be some kind of information on the use of this term in the warranty or guarantee sense. It would be great to know where Jean Binck got the information on the iron wire cutting test used in early Passau, but he's been notably out of touch for some time. Bezdek (p.10) suggests rather aprocryphally that the 'eisenhauerklinge' (iron cutting blade) was a process of hardening the edge learned from Islamic swordsmiths by German crusaders. While there is a degree of truth in the metalworking secrets of the smiths of Moorish Spain being carried to the Frankish smiths, it is known conversely that Frankish blades were also much in demand in Moorish Spain.
Regardless, the use of the term remains unclear in these earlier times.

The use of the term is seen in characteristic Victorian literature, in an 1884 reference on antiquities; "...the sword before us is the mael or hringmael, so called from its cutting the ring of the hauberk in twain, as the modern German 'eisenhauer' hews through the iron of the foe".

I agree that the term probably was emplaced in recalling this type of strength to the blade, and likely came about the time of the commercial conflicts between German and English swordsmiths c.1788-1810 where the 'warranted never to fail' type inscriptions were used on British blades.
Before this time, the guild marks or other symbolic marks were presumed to carry this quality guarantee without being worded.

Sabre #2 here is an even nicer example of these Arab sabres with these Majar blades. As mentioned these blades seem to have been Solingen products, and Bezdek also mentions that typically Austrian blades were made in Germany (the few Austrian makers typically marked thier name on thier work). At the end of the 18th century, this was the case with the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and it is noted in Wagner (plate 42) that the figure of the crowned, recumbent lion was characteristic of blades produced c.1791. This was the time when Leopold II was crowned king of Bohemia.

The deep channeled fullers on these seem to correspond to sabres of these East European regions around the turn of the century into 1820s. By the mid 19th century Solingen was more typically using the hollow ground type blades seen on cavalry sabres through the 19th century.

You're right, knowledge can sometimes prove disappointing when following a certain theory and it becomes disproven, but I still think your idea of the earlier use of this term may be well placed. I have checked all the references I can and cannot find evidence of a maker with this name, though we know of course it has become a surname. The period of the recumbent lion is noted earlier, and the term is on an earlier type blade, on two examples.
I think thus far, these two sabres plausibly suggest earlier use as you have observed.....sure would like to hear of other examples or references from others out there too!

Thanks for the excellent examples and discussion Dmitry!!!!

All the best,
Jim
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Old 2nd September 2010, 06:39 PM   #9
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I've asked some German collectors on the origins of 'Eisenhauer', so far no-one could give a definite answer, but the general agreement for the appearance of the term is still the mid-1800s, which [again] leads me do believe that it was a marketing logo. I'll keep looking. I am sure the answer is out there, but unfortunately I don't speak or understand a word of German.
I've also ordered "The Arms and Armour of Arabia". Thanks for the tip, Jim!
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Old 4th September 2010, 02:48 AM   #10
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I dont think there is any doubt that the use of the term was a marketing gimmick in the mid 19th century, I've seen the term emblazoned on a banner type marking on blades before and of that period. What I'd like to discover is the source and vintage of this term/concept.
In England Samuel Harvey used the venerable old 'running fox' in the mid 18th century, when its use by German makers had ceased in the previous century.

Im glad you ordered "Arms and Armour of Arabia", its a fantastic reference and though the title seems restricted, Elgood's books never are. The footnotes carry important references and clues that seem to apply in an incredibly wide scope of topics.

All the best,
Jim
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Old 19th September 2010, 09:58 PM   #11
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Hi Dmitry and Jim,

Being a German native speaker, I have tried my best to do research on the term Eisenhauer because it doubtlessly is German.

After leafing thru some 15th and 16th century sources it first seemed to go back to the diggers in the iron mines who dug the iron strands out of the rock. From the 16th century onwards, though, it seems to have been used not only for blade smiths but synonymous of nearly all weapon smiths. By that time, too, it had developed into a common familly name many of which stem from the kind of the former craft of the guy given. Another simlilar name is Eisenmenger (iron mingler), which seems to refer more strictly to the smiths who mixed various sorts of iron in order to get optimum quality steel.

Of course, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had, among others, German ancestors.
I have not been able to trace back the family name Eisenhauer to a manufacturer of blades but in all probability there must have been somebody with that name the quality of whose blades became synonymous of good blades in general and, in consequence, was often copied by other bladesmiths - just like the Passau or Solingen wolf marks.

Hoping to have been helpful,
best,
Michael
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Old 25th September 2010, 04:00 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matchlock
Hi Dmitry and Jim,

Being a German native speaker, I have tried my best to do research on the term Eisenhauer because it doubtlessly is German.

After leafing thru some 15th and 16th century sources it first seemed to go back to the diggers in the iron mines who dug the iron strands out of the rock. From the 16th century onwards, though, it seems to have been used not only for blade smiths but synonymous of nearly all weapon smiths. By that time, too, it had developed into a common familly name many of which stem from the kind of the former craft of the guy given. Another simlilar name is Eisenmenger (iron mingler), which seems to refer more strictly to the smiths who mixed various sorts of iron in order to get optimum quality steel.

Of course, President Dwight D. Eisenhower had, among others, German ancestors.
I have not been able to trace back the family name Eisenhauer to a manufacturer of blades but in all probability there must have been somebody with that name the quality of whose blades became synonymous of good blades in general and, in consequence, was often copied by other bladesmiths - just like the Passau or Solingen wolf marks.

Hoping to have been helpful,
best,
Michael




Hi Michael,
Thank you so much for this information, and its really helpful to have inside information from these early German sources, which I know you know so thoroughly with the amazing research you always present here. It does indeed seem that so many family names evolved from trade characteristics as one of the many roots . I had not thought of the 'mingling' of iron, as we know the manner for forging pattern welded blades.

Interesting note on our former president Dwight D. Eisenhower also!

Outstanding information Michael, much appreciated,
All the best,
Jim
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Old 25th September 2010, 04:46 PM   #13
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Checking 'Babelfish' I have found that 'Eisenhauer' does not directly translate. Checking 'eisen' and 'hauer', as seperate words gives iron and hauer (ie no translated word)

However, eisen and haue ( I removed the 'r') is iron strike, this ties in neatly with Michael's post......afterall couldn't a blade/blacksmith be discribed as an 'iron striker'. Perhaps the term is not to do with the quality of the steel...but the quality of the blades's manufacture ??

Regards David
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Old 25th September 2010, 08:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
Checking 'Babelfish' I have found that 'Eisenhauer' does not directly translate. Checking 'eisen' and 'hauer', as seperate words gives iron and hauer (ie no translated word)

However, eisen and haue ( I removed the 'r') is iron strike, this ties in neatly with Michael's post......afterall couldn't a blade/blacksmith be discribed as an 'iron striker'. Perhaps the term is not to do with the quality of the steel...but the quality of the blades's manufacture ??

Regards David


Very well noted David! From my slowly growing understanding of metallurgy, it is the technique and processes of the forger which accomplishes the quality of the steel. In the discussion on wootz on a concurrent thread, one of the reasons that the secrets of wootz were essentially 'lost' was that ore supplies which inadvertantly carried trace elements became exhausted as well as British orders to cease production in those regions ended the source.
Since the ore supply was no longer available, and smiths were unaware that these minerals were key to the process, they could not properly reaccomplish the same grade of wootz steel.
The quality of Solingen steel is not only in the ore, but the forging process.

All best regards,
Jim
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Old 25th September 2010, 09:55 PM   #15
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just a small remark from my side to stating the obvious:
'babelfish' is hardly a reference for the german language of the 19th century.

Luckily, two brothers that are more famous for their collection of folk-tales, compiled a dictionary exactly at that time.
There is no "Eisenhauer" in the dictionary but the meaning of the word "Hauer" is explained in detail:
http://www.woerterbuchnetz.de/DWB/wbgui_py?lemma=hauer

There "Hauer" is directly connected with
- miners
- woodcutters
- several tools where just "hammer" would not be appropiate
- any slashing weapon
- the male wild boar
- the fangs of a male wild boar
- someone who strikes
- the act of striking itself

And in combination with a list of prefix words for several other trades (eg. Steinhauer for stone mason)
Strangely there is no mention of smithing there.

Does all this help us in explaining why there is the word "Eisenhauer" on some of the blades? No, it doesn't!

I don't think that there is a linguistic answer to that question. IMHO as long as we don't discover any
contempory text explaining the reason behind putting "Eisenhauer" on the blades we may as well
continue discussing the incription of "+VLFBERH+T" on some 9th century blades...

Best Regards,
Thilo
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Old 26th September 2010, 01:40 AM   #16
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Hello Thilo,
Interesting views concerning perspective on the use of the term 'eisenhauer' on German blades, as an apparant mark of quality implying the 'ability to cut iron'.
As you have noted, linguistically it is often difficult to analyze these terms as they occur on sword blades as they seem to be of antiquated vernacular or similarly idioms with the contemporary meaning long lost. As with trying to evaluate or comprehend early metaphoric use of terms in literature or contemporary narrative, often we can only presume or speculate.

As we have discussed, the specific use of the term 'eisenhauer' as far as can be determined did not appear in that form and on sword blades until most likely late in the first quarter of the 19th century. We do know that the prefix 'eisen' is of course the modern German spelling of the Middle High German 'isen' (=iron). The Middle High German term 'houwan' apparantly meant 'to hew' , which of course is known to mean to cut with blows of a heavy cutting instrument. Whether the term might have had its spelling altered is of course a matter of further speculation, but the change to 'er' might have been used in descriptive sense of the object. I'm obviously no linguist so that is of course assumption on my part.

The reference you note of course by the Brothers Grimm, was I believe compiled in the 1830s, and at which time the term hauer of course was probably not joined with 'eisen' in the parlance we are discussing for use on blades, as it appears to not yet have been in use. The closest evidence we have for its use perhaps earlier is the sabres that Dmitry has shown, and it is difficult to state for certain that they do not date into the 1820s or 30s, despite the evidence noted.

We do know that by 1884, a Victorian reference notes a formidable German blade by this term, "...as the modern German 'eisenhauer' hews through the iron of a fence". It would appear by then to be an idiom used to herald the powerful quality of a German blade. References in Bezdek and Walter on German swords note the 'eisenhauerklinge' (iron cutting blade) as mentioned in post #8.

Since catalogs, references and directories do not appear to list a maker named Eisenhauer, and with the descriptive and as noted, apparantly occupational nature of the term, I think we can safely presume it must be a marketing and quality claiming device or brand type term as might be expected in these commercially competitive times.

As for the well known 'Ulfberht' on the famed 9th century blades, it seems generally accepted that rather than being a makers name, it is more likely an idiomatic term signifying a warrior. The word appears not only on the Frankish blades but also on crucible steel examples of blade produced to the east and marketed to the Rus (A. Williams). The practice of pronouncement of quality and strength on sword blades has been well known into the earliest times, and most understandable as a warriors life often depended on his blade.

Although of course we cannot pronounce conclusively these known factors prove that either eisenhauer, or ulfbehrt, or as previously mentioned; Andrea Ferara, Sahagum, or others were terms rather than names...I believe that the evidence suggests that they were.

All best regards,
Jim

Last edited by Jim McDougall : 26th September 2010 at 03:35 PM.
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Old 26th September 2010, 04:09 PM   #17
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I just discovered another reference:
According to "Gerhard Seifert: Fachwörterbuch der Blankwaffenkunde" the origin of the term could be (obviously he himself has no proof) the "Nagelprobe" (nail test) where the blade must be able to cut through an iron nail without getting damaged. The term "Eisenhauer" would then be applied to blades that pass this test.
Later on this evolved to a description of a special grind: the Eisenhauerschliff, which is basically a kind of convex grind.
According to this source trademark Eisenhauer would be just a word describing the grind of the blade.
He also gives references to the use in other languages:
Yzerhouwer (dutch), jernhugger (danish), coup de fer (french)
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Old 26th September 2010, 06:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwizard
just a small remark from my side to stating the obvious:
'babelfish' is hardly a reference for the german language of the 19th century.


I agree, but with limited knowledge of the German language it is extremely useful to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwizard
Luckily, two brothers that are more famous for their collection of folk-tales, compiled a dictionary exactly at that time.
There is no "Eisenhauer" in the dictionary but the meaning of the word "Hauer" is explained in detail:
http://www.woerterbuchnetz.de/DWB/wbgui_py?lemma=hauer

There "Hauer" is directly connected with
- miners
- woodcutters
- several tools where just "hammer" would not be appropiate
- any slashing weapon
- the male wild boar
- the fangs of a male wild boar
- someone who strikes
- the act of striking itself



There are words in English, spelt the same but with differing meanings....and, as you have shown, the same occurs in German. Obviously the context of the word etc within a sentence allows the reader to understand the meaning of the word without using a dictionary to check the various possible meanings and then deciding which 'discription' fits the sentence. I used a translation programme which would probably work in a similar manner....I had 'eisen' with 'haue(r)' so, perhaps that is why I did not get, for instance 'iron male boar'. I'll assume that 'iron' matched 'strike' as a better translation.
I am not arguing the merits of Bablefish, but two of your 19th C dictionary meanings involve the word 'strike'.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwizard
And in combination with a list of prefix words for several other trades (eg. Steinhauer for stone mason)
Strangely there is no mention of smithing there.


You have already mentioned that 'eisenhauer' was not in the 19th C German dictionary you quoted.....a word that was, it seems, known and used on a number of 19thC German produced blades ?? Perhaps, it was not a 'concise' version.
However, I made a possible assumption that 'eisenhauer' was a reference to blade/black smith (in fact one of your definitions was 'any slashing weapon') so, possibly,even slashing weapon maker.
If 'hauer' is a craftsman or trade and then prefixed with 'iron' this is not an unreasonable assumption.(so perhaps Babelfish is not as bad as you stated)

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwizard
Does all this help us in explaining why there is the word "Eisenhauer" on some of the blades? No, it doesn't! .


To make such a bold statement you must, in fact, know why 'eisenhauer' is on some blades. I was just suggesting that the mark may not be a sign of the quality of the steel but, an indication of the skill of it's manufacture. It may help....it may not....it is just an suggestion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrwizard
I don't think that there is a linguistic answer to that question. IMHO as long as we don't discover any
contempory text explaining the reason behind putting "Eisenhauer" on the blades we may as well
continue discussing the incription of "+VLFBERH+T" on some 9th century blades... .


You could well be right, but waiting and hoping the answers will suddenly 'materialise' is not 'my way' . Trying to find answers to questions often further knowledge and understanding. Wrong ideas or theories may lead to 'nowhere' ....but you wouldn't find out if they are incorrect....until proven otherwise. Even respected researchers have modified or even changed their views due to new evidence etc.

Just an afterthought, your 'hauser' definitions included woodcutter ....eisen hauer....iron woodcutter ? .....we call him the 'Tin man'

Come Toto, the games afoot

Regards David

.
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Old 26th September 2010, 07:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
I agree, but with limited knowledge of the German language it is extremely useful to me.


Just to avoid any misunderstandings: my posting was in
no way meant to attack personally. I just wanted to point
out that the language spoken today is quite different from the language spoken 150 years ago.
Even today it is very difficult for a non native speaker (sometimes even for native speakers) to follow a conversation in certain parts of germany.

Starting 1838 the brothers Grimm compiled a dictionary with the goal to contain all german words since the 16th century, their meaning, and their origin.
It was not finished until 123 years later (of course not by the brother). It has 32 Volumes and explains about 320.000 index-words. So if you want to figure out something about a german word you look it up first in Grimms dictionary.

As i know you and most others in the forum don't speak
german i took the freedom to look it up for you and translate the main findings. Sadly - reading my own post - i understand that this could have been misunderstood as arrogance. I apologize for that (and for this post for that matter).


Quote:
Originally Posted by katana
[...]
To make such a bold statement you must, in fact, know why 'eisenhauer' is on some blades. I was just suggesting that the mark may not be a sign of the quality of the steel but, an indication of the skill of it's manufacture. It may help....it may not....it is just an suggestion.


What i wanted to state is the following:
Even if we found linguistic evidence of the origin of the term "Eisenhauer". There is still no evidence why it ended up being etched onto a blade.

We have the thesis that it just a special word that stands a high quality of craftmanship, like a family name.
This would make sense if the inscription was made only for advertisement and "Made by dwarfs in their magic kingdom by repeatedly striking at iron" would be too long to fit on the blade

We have another thesis mentioned right in the first post that it is a quality seal that ensures a special ability.
In this case the ability to cut-iron. Makes sense too,
as it is useful for advertising and very precise in what
kind of special ability the blade has. I think this is the
most likely.

We have the third thesis that i posted in my last post.
That it originally meant the ability to cut iron but later
evolved into another word for convex grind. Less useful
for advertising but even more precise in a certain
property of the blade.

But after all it is all speculation.
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Old 26th September 2010, 08:52 PM   #20
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Hi Thilo,
I appreciate you taking the time to expand and explain your previous postings, thank you. I also did not realise the importance (or was aware ) of the Dictionary compiled by the brothers Grimm .....I do now .

I also appreciate that this forum is multi-national and multi-cultural and sometimes misunderstandings do occur.

I have obviously 'mis-read' the 'tone' of your posting and wish to apologise also.

All the best

Kind Regards David
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Old 27th September 2010, 07:21 PM   #21
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Route 66
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I'd like to join in here with the interchange on misreading, and admit that I also misinterpreted some the the text here Thilo. I have studied arms for more years than I can accurately specify, and believe I felt that it was being suggested our efforts in discovering more on this term were in vain. With that I wanted to show the evidence we did have, and posit that although not conclusive it was the best we had to date.

When you mentioned the reference you noted from Gerhard Seifert, initially I misperceived what was said, and in reaction thought the comment 'obviously he had no evidence' disparaging to this distinguished arms scholar. He was of course, and as you must well know, one of the foremost arms scholars who edited the esteemed journal of arms and armour for many years. After later rereading the post I realized what you had actually said was that when he noted that the term 'could have' come from that source, he had specified, as I knew him to do, that he could not be sure. I was glad I had not responded to that initially, especially after reading your well worded responses to David.

I would also note I had no idea of the time span with the Grimm Brothers work, which would negate my presumption in regard to discovery of the term.
Thank you for the informative detail on that. I had been unaware of many of the usages of these terms and the discourse you and David have had has been really outstanding in better understanding of these words.

Returning to the discussion at hand, it seems that if the actual term or its variations remain unclear in the formidable corpus of material on arms and armour that was certainly well known to Mr. Seifert, the German arms journals he knew thoroughly, and other arms scholars who have surmised the meaning and purpose of use for the term on blades, then all we can do is indeed speculate.

It does seem established that the cutting of nails to test blades, as noted by Mr. Seifert, as well as other references I have heard noting that the same type testing was accomplished using iron wire, suggest that the 'iron cutting' ability must have been a well known standard for quality. That would stand regardless of the specific term used.

Even in modern marketing, emphatic terms are used to dramatize the quality of a product, for example 'everready' batteries, which suggest that they are always dependable and many other analogies. I would speculate, in accord with the arms authors previously noted, that in the burgeoning commercialism and industrialization of the 19th century, the term 'eisenhauer' may have been intended to recall these classical references to the testing of blades that seem to date back to Passau's early days as an arms center. We already know that the almost legendary 'running wolf' marking which is generally held to have its origins there was a symbol used to suggest quality in much the same manner.

Thank you very much for the very courteous manner in these interactions and especially for the excellent contributions and information. Its good to have you here on the forum!

All the best,
Jim
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