At that time I was introduced to the controversy surrounding the use of the term "Toothpick" when describing daggers. Up to that time I was completely ignorant to the fact that "Arkansas Toothpick" was nothing more than a alternate name for a Bowie Knife. Back then I ended up exchanging emails with the wife of Bowie Historian Dr. Batson. That exchange was enough to clear up any questions I had as far as history concerning the Bowie and the term Toothpick. Since that time having left Asia and came home to Arkansas where I have had better access to historical artifacts and historians I am more convinced than ever there is nothing to the "Dagger is a Toothpick" Hollywood version of Arkansas Knife History.
As far as I know this is also the position of the Arkansas Historical Museum which houses many Bowies and the American Bladesmith Society Hall Of Fame blade collection. The Bowie is the Arkansas Toothpick and the Arkansas Toothpick is the Bowie. I suppose I could submit a formal question to the museum staff on the matter but having had many conversations at the forge under the oak tree there in the courtyard concerning the matter not one ABS or AKA member has even tried to argue that a Toothpick is anything but a Bowie and why should they? The term "Dagger" has been in use for hundreds of years and perfectly describes the double edged design Hollywood improperly referred to as a "Toothpick" for the purpose of making movies with no concern about historical facts.
Why bother bringing this up? I just saw another beautiful dagger referred to as a toothpick. Why bother using correct terminology here? Most of us are not only serious about what we make but serious about history too. If the term Toothpick historically referred to the Bowie then we need to use the correct term to forge history, not confuse or in the worst case, rewrite it.
Edited by Bryan Bondurant, 06 May 2011 - 07:44 PM.