from The Century Dictionary.
- noun The grinding of needles and table-forks.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Of all the instances that can be given of recklessness of life, there is none which exceeds that of the workmen employed in what is called dry-pointing -- the grinding of needles and of table forks.
Pushing to the Front Orison Swett Marden 1887
In another process of the same manufacture, dry-pointing, which also is executed with great rapidity, the wages earned by the workman reach from 7s. to 12s., 15s., and even, in some instances, to 20s. per day; whilst other processes are carried on by children paid at the rate of 6d. per day.
On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures Charles Babbage 1831