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In Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, when Charlie is walking home and passes the Factory and then a Tinker comes and talks to him, why did he have a cart of Knives?

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That's part of what tinkers do: fix knives.

The cart's most obvious contents are the knives due to both their size and the way they are stored. In particular, the cleavers are the kind of knife to be hung up that way by anyone using them.

However, there is a large sack or bag containing other implements that we cannot visibly see. These are likely to be other items besides knives. Even so, a tinker specialising in knives would not be farfetched, especially as other contemporary implements become less mendable by a tinker.

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    Since it's not likely that lots of people will have broken knives at the same time, you could reasonably assume that the Tinker's job is to sharpen them (as a service). Everyone needs knives, not many need to keep their own grinding wheel. – Snow Nov 7 '18 at 15:26

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