The History of the Spork

October 10, 2012

Spoon and Fork

The Spork (photo from

The “Spork”: that strange combination of the spoon and the fork that dates back to the early 1900’s. It makes sense – two plastic utensils for the price of one. It’s ideal for campers and those who value convenience and individuality. However, many people argue that the design includes a spoon part that is too shallow and tines that are too short and stubby to pick anything up.

We recently read The Spork’s Weird History on The article was excerpted from “Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat” by Bee Wilson. It speaks about what exactly the Spork is, where it came from, and how it plays into culture today.

“Table utensils are, above all, cultural objects, carrying with them a view of what food is and how we should conduct ourselves in relation to it. And then there are sporks.

Unlike previous utensils, which always carried with them some cultural expectation of how you should behave in relation to food, the spork is entirely devoid of culture. It bends itself to the owner, rather than the other way around.”
– Bee Wilson, from “Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat”

Today, in addition to the “Spork”, there is also a “Spork-like” utensil that features a serrated or jagged mini knife on the same end as the fork. While we’ve never actually used one, we’re not so sure it would cut anything beyond a soft piece of fruit.

Red spoon, fork and knife

A spoon, fork, and knife in one (photo from

It’s an unusual utensil that also has an unusual history. You can read more about the history of the Spork from Bee Wilson here.

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