||According to a 1959 Chronicle of the Early American Industries Association, Inc. , the Barlow knife was probably first manufactured by Obadiah Barlow at Sheffield, England, around 1670. Obadiah's grandson, John Barlow, joined the business around 1745 and it was he who was chiefly responsible for developing the exportation of the Barlow knives to America.
The barlow knife was designed to be tough, and to be affordable. The blade were made of high carbon steel, the handle was bone and not much time was spent on polishing it to keep production costs down. To make it tough, the bolster was big and thick.
Case, Bear & Son, Boker, Robeson, and Rough Rider all make the barlow style knife currently.