James Black... Arkansas blacksmith and creator of the original Bowie knife designed by Jim Bowie. Bowie was already famous for knife-fighting from his 1827 sandbar duel. But his killing of three assassins in Texas and death at the Alamo made him, and the blacksmith’s knife, legends. Black’s knives were exceedingly tough yet flexible. He kept his knife making methods secret, even doing his work behind a leather curtain. James Black’s knives cannot be duplicated even today.