Fright Knife

Fright Knife

Usage conditions apply
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
United States: Massachusetts, Cambridge
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
Credit Line
Gift of Julia Child
Entertainment, Film
See more items in
Cultural and Community Life: Occupations
Julia Child's Kitchen
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Food: Transforming the American Table
Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
Nominate this object for photography.   

Our collection database is a work in progress. We may update this record based on further research and review. Learn more about our approach to sharing our collection online.

If you would like to know how you can use content on this page, see the Smithsonian's Terms of Use. If you need to request an image for publication or other use, please visit Rights and Reproductions.


Add a comment about this object