A set of five skinning knives all with varying shapes of blades. All 5 knives have 3 steel grommets through the handle holding them together. Dark wooden handle, blade increases from 0.25" to 0.5" in width.
These knives were used by butchers at the Lincoln Meat Company, near the Union Stock Yards district.
These knives help document Chicago's meatpacking industry, the city's largest employer between the late 19th and mid 20th centuries. The Lincoln Meat Co. had its roots beginning in World War II, and some of their original buildings are still in operation today. A 160-acre complex located four miles southwest of the city’s center, the Union Stock Yard consolidated nearly 50 meatpacking plants around its perimeter. A feat of engineering that opened on Christmas Day 1865, the stockyards could house over 100,000 animals in more than 2,000 pens, all adjacent to Chicago’s rail lines. This rail access to livestock and far-flung markets enabled the stockyards to grow and expand quickly. By the end of World War II, however, new transportation networks made the stockyards obsolete. The growth of interstate trucking stimulated the decentralization of the meat industry. After handling more than a billion animals in over more than a century, the Union Stock Yard closed its gate in August 1971.