Grape-picking Knife


This grape-picking knife was owned and used by Nathan Fay of Napa, Calif. Its short, curved blade and lightweight handle are typical of knives used during the annual harvest of wine grapes in the area. Although grape-picking machines are used in the large vineyards of California's Central Valley, hand tools like this are preferred on the estate vineyards in Napa. Fay personalized this knife, as do most workers who regularly pick grapes, by carving his name ("NAT") in the wooden handle and by filing the blade to sharpen its edge.


Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History.