Monday, August 8, 2011

The National Knife Museum

On Saturday morning, after Elizabeth and I went yard-saling for an hour or so (she bought a lamp and I bought a book for myself and one to donate to the resource center), I decided that since I was already awake and in the car, I would drive to the nearby National Knife Museum, located in Pigeon Forge in the gigantic multilevel Knifeworks store:


Then on Saturday afternoon and on and off during the day on Sunday I tried to think of an entertaining way to write about my trip, but kept running into a wall. You wouldn't think it would be hard to find something entertaining about a place where this brand of horror is the first thing you see:

singing bear and raccoon

Animatronic anthropomorphic animals with muscial instruments, covered in the preserved skins of actual animals. It's like a Chuck E. Cheese designed by John Wayne Gacy. It's also one of the few interesting parts of the trip because, unfortunately, the National Knife Museum is pretty boring.

Sorry, knife enthusiasts.

I really thought I would enjoy the trip. I'm not a knife craftsman (knifemaker?) or carnival sideshow performer, but I've watched a lot of horror movies and I cook a lot, so I have an appreciation for bladed weapons, and the knife museum and knife store has thousands of knives, swords, and other sharp objects. It just somehow managed to make them completely un-fun.

For starters, nothing in the museum is labeled. That means that if you do see something intriguing in one of the cases, like these wooden pocketknives:

wooden knives

you can't find out anything about them. Who carved them? For what purpose? And when? I'll never know, because the knife museum exists only to display knives, not to actually educate you about them.

There does seem to be some sort of order to the display cases, but this is just guesswork on my part. Here are the displays I think I saw, since there aren't any signs to tell me any different:

Animals That Died by Stabbing


The Knives That Won World War II

knives of world war II

Knives of the American Old West, And Also a Gun

knives of the american west

South American Knives Except for the Bottom One That Looks Asian

knives of south america

African Knives and Other Pointy Things

knives of africa

I Think This Is About the Civil War Except That One of the Coats is Red Instead of Gray

knives of the war of northern aggression

And that's it. I don't know if they were famous, historical, examples of something important in the hostory of knives, or if someone just cleaned out the knife sections at Pier One and the antique store and dumped the results into a few display cases. I learned nothing, except that knives exist and there are a lot of different kinds. Worst of all, I didn't even find the one famous knife that I was told to be there.

All I found was a poster:

rambo III

You know what should be in a case, right next to that poster?

A bowie knife.

One that Rambo used to liberate entire countries of oppressed people in a movie.

But there's not. There's not even a plaque or a sign that tells you where the knife should be or if it was ever there at all. There's just a poster and a rack of dried fruit, down in the basement in the cooking section of the store that also happens to house the knife museum.

What a disappointment.


Rod Roscoe said...

Wow... that actually sounds like a really terrible museum.

It's probably not even worthy of the name. More of a "National Knife Place of Knives and Stuff."

Yodi said...

this made me LOL

Elizabeth said...

My favorite is the "animals that died by stabbing." Sorry it was a bust. I found something funny about my lamp. I thought those balls that were hanging down were to turn the lamp on and off but they are just decoration.