How the Bowie Knife Got it’s Name

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The iconic Bowie knife has proven to be quite popular since it’s invention in the 1830s. Not only is it perfect for self-defense, but it doesn’t look to shabby either. Bowie knives come in a variety of styles, including guards, blade shapes, and cosmetic enhancements.

As the story goes, the Bowie knife received it’s name due to a story about Jim Bowie. On September 19th, 1827, in Natchez, Mississippi, Jim Bowie won a historic duel, known as the ‘Sandbar Duel’, against two other men. The term Bowie knife began began being used to describe knives which were similar to the knife Jim Bowie used during this duel. For quite a while, a lot of people wanted ‘Jim Bowie’s Knife’.

There is some disagreement over who actually created the Bowie knife.

While many believe James Bowie to be the creator, in a letter to The Planter’s Advocate by his brother Rezin Bowie, Rezin claimed to be the creator. Although most members of the Bowie family believe that it was originally made by Rezin, Rezin’s grandchildren have stated that he simply copied his blacksmith, who was the true creator of the blade.

James Black, a blacksmith from around Bowie’s time, was known to have made several improvements to the Bowie Knife, and even claimed to make a knife for Bowie himself, although his claims are unverifiable.

Jim Bowie later passed away at the Battle of the Alamo, making the famous Bowie Knife into an unforgettable legend.

Related History

The famous musician David Bowie (birth name David Robert Jones) took his stage name from the Bowie knife, as David Bowie said that the name ‘cuts both ways’.

The Knife Analyst

The Knife Analyst

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