Fright Knife

Julia Child called this 20-inch-long knife, with its serrated, stainless steel blade and rosewood handle, her “fright” knife. She wielded it in several of her early, televised cooking shows to great comic effect, memorably tapping each of the “Chicken Sisters” with its blade (“Miss Broiler! Miss Fryer! Miss Roaster! Miss Caponette! Miss Stewer! And Old Madame Hen!”) in a 1970 episode of The French Chef. A self-avowed “knife freak,” Julia accumulated a large collection of kitchen knives, and this one became a favorite prop for getting viewers’ attention on television.
Object Name
Physical Description
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
overall: 51.5 cm x 7 cm x 3 cm; 20 9/32 in x 2 3/4 in x 1 3/16 in
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Entertainment, Film
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Occupations
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Julia Child

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