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Retractable Utility Knife

Retractable Utility Knife

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Usage conditions apply
A utility knife is a general purpose cutting tool. This knife has a retractable steel blade and a red-painted aluminum holder. It was made in China for the American home improvement store Lowe's Task Force brand. The manufacturering company that produces their tools can vary from year to year. The knife was used by Jillian Gross while working for Habitat for Humanity, a not-for-profit, non-government organization advocating affordable housing around the world.
When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005, Jillian Gross had worked with Habitat for Humanity for three years learning woodworking and house-building skills. Groups such as Habitat for Humanity marshaled volunteers, tools and lumber to step in when it became clear that normal avenues of housing assistance were overwhelmed.
In November 2005, Habitat for Humanity launched “America Builds on the National Mall,” a demonstration house-building marathon in Washington, D.C. in which the basic components of 51 homes were assembled within a week and shipped to the Gulf Coast. Upon completion of the project Ms. Gross, one of the house building leaders during this event, donated her tool belt, tools and protective wear to the Smithsonian Institution. The notebook was kept in the pocket of a tool belt.
Currently not on view
Object Name
Knife, Utility
Associated Place
United States: Louisiana, New Orleans
Physical Description
steel (blade material)
plastic (holder material)
overall: 6 in x 1 1/2 in x 3/4 in; 15.24 cm x 3.81 cm x 1.905 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Credit Line
Gift of Jillian Gross
Hurricane Katrina
America Builds on the National Mall
See more items in
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Clothing & Accessories
Cultures & Communities
Family & Social Life
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Industry & Manufacturing
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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