Innovation in cutlery
Legend Feel Co are specialists in Australian nostalgia. This sort of thing got a bit overdone in the UK with endless TV rehashes of Z-list celebs going on about Clackers and Spangles, but what caught my eye was I really had been thinking "Whatever happened to Splaydes?".
Splayds were a cross between a knife and a fork, with a little bit of spoon thrown in. Not to be confused with a spork. They were an Australian invention from the 1950s, designed to cope with the culture shift in eating habits that was the cocktail era. They were a big part of my childhood, 2 decades later. If we were having a meal of a particular consistency my mum would issue the command "Jim, get the Splayds" and my dad would unearth them from their box in the sideboard. I bet to this day they're still there, too good to be in with the everyday riff raff of the cutlery drawer.
So while not essential, there are often times when I wish I had one. When a knife is overkill and a fork isn't scoopy enough - eating canneloni for example. I wondered why they didn't catch on and it turns out they have something of a cult following, and their own website with hints at a Splayd resurgence. There is obviously a Splayd-shaped gap in the array of eating implements.
And what struck me was there's a clear trajectory of cutlery innovation in the post-war years running through the Little Fork to the Splayd and beyond (more on the beyond later) but it all seems to be back to basics now. Like any other everyday object cutlery is commonplace but fascinating once you start to dig into its history. If you look at the history of cutlery you'll also be looking at the history of everything else.
[Note: I wrote this a year ago and my inner censor decided not to publish it (too whimsical? Is there such a thing?) but Russell's tweet about sporks got me thinking again. Time for a cutlery revolution, obviously.]