The butter knife as we know it today is believed to have originated in the 18th century in Europe. At that time, butter was often served in large blocks, and diners would use their own personal knives to cut off a piece to spread on their bread. As the use of butter became more common in households, specialized butter knives began to be produced and used specifically for spreading butter. These early butter knives were typically made of silver or other metals and had a flat, dull blade that was well-suited for spreading butter without tearing the bread.
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