I agree Son,my theory is that before when thin quality carbon was being forged in the US,knives were a part of everyday life & people for the most part took better care of them.I know my Gt. grandfather & Gf took care of their carbon boat building chisels.My father also built boats & was a pattern & model maker for NACA that later became NASA.I still have quite a few of those wood tools,most in excellent condition.
Around turn of century industrial revolution in full swing,peoples jobs became more specialized,instead of more generalist where you had to be good at many things.Stainless steel & later dishwashers,many more careless wt. knives,finally knife makers went for lowest common denom.Thick soft stainless knives,that dent instead of chip became the norm.
In Japan it was different after WW2 swordmaking was banned & some turned to making the best kitchen knives on the planet.Still do.With the exception of some very good custom forgers.