At one point, a single manufacturer offered no fewer than 146 different types of flatware for the table. Curiously, one of the few survivors from this culinary onslaught is one that is most difficult to understand: the fish knife. No one has ever identified a single advantage conferred by its odd scalloped shape or worked out the original thinking behind it. There isn’t a single kind of fish that it cuts better or bones more delicately than a conventional knife does.
Bill Bryson, At Home: A Short History of Private Life, 2010