From the estate of a deceased shochet of many decades, I acquired several shechitah knives manufactured in the early 1900s by “J. & D. Miller,” the most sought after manufacturer in this field.
The brothers Joseph Miller (1887-1972) and David Miller (about 1883-1943) were born in Western Russia, near Minsk. As young boys, they were sent as apprentices to an uncle, who had a factory where knives were manufactured. Escaping the military conscription, Joseph escaped Russia, followed by his brother several years later.
By 1909 the brothers had escaped military conscription in Russia and resided in the Lower East Side of New York. Joseph opened a shop on Canal Street that manufactured knives and tools for a variety of uses. Each product was marked “J. & D. Miller, N.Y., Guaranteed,” and the brothers were well known for repairing or sharpening their products as needed, even years after their purchase.
Miller shechitah knives are of the highest quality, and many ritual slaughterers still use them today, decades after the last Miller knives were made. They are known to be rust-resistant and extraordinarily sharp.