While the folding draw knife was “new, novel, and selling rapidly” in the 1880s, draw knives have aided woodworkers since Noah noticed the clouds rolling in. Gripping both handles, the woodworker pulls the draw knife toward him (or pushes away, despite the name), peeling bark and wood from logs and leaving a unique hand-made look.
The two main styles are the English style, in which the handles angle 90 degrees from a straight blade, and the continental pattern, where the handles are set in line with a curved blade. A general rule of thumb: the harder the wood, the sharper the blade needs to be.
The continental draw knife pictured above has a 4-3/8″ blade — a rare find for a woodcarver working with small objects.
Draw Knife Ad From 1884 [Hyperkitten.com]