World's smallest engraving on razor edge

14th February 2011 - Fine Cut

The world's smallest engraving has been made on the edge of a razor blade.

"Nothing is impossible" was etched on the blade measuring just a tenth of a millimetre. The precision engraving means the letters are invisible to the naked eye and can only be read using a medical microscope when at a 400 times magnification. It took 64 year old Graham Short around 150 attempts before he was able to complete it.

The ability to engrave at such a level requires almost superhuman effort and dedication to remain completely still. Mr Short was only able to work at night, when traffic vibrations were at a minimum. His right arm was bound to the arm of his chair to minimise unwanted movement and he used a stethoscope to monitor his heart, only writing the letters between beats.

It took seven months, working from midnight to 5.30am most nights to do the engraving. On a good night he'd manage three minuscule letters. The Wilkinson's Sword blade, engraved by the copper and steel engraver, is now available to buy, for a whopping £47,500.

"I honestly think this is as small as it's possible to with the human hand. Since I started engraving in the early 1960s, I've always wanted to engrave smaller than anyone else in the world and now I think I've done it," he told The Telegraph.

"I admit I've become a bit obsessed by it, but I just can't resist the idea of going smaller and smaller. When I finished the razor blade I was absolutely thrilled. I had been almost there so many times and then ruined it with one slip. This was probably the 150th blade, but I must admit I lost count."

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