The Salisbury cutlery industry, which included the making of weapons, had been present in the city since medieval times. It reached its peak in the 1600s and 1700s but declined due to competition from cheaper goods produced in Sheffield and Birmingham. This led the Salisbury industry to specialise in high quality items like surgical instruments, scissors and penknives, but by 1900 this had also declined.
Thomas Neesham came to Salisbury from Birmingham, setting up his own business in New Canal in 1817, moving thence to Oatmeal Row in 1855. He was succeeded by his son, Henry who continued working until 1914.
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