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Identification Methods of Old Axes & Hatchets?

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by JD Spydo, Nov 21, 2017.

  1. JD Spydo

    JD Spydo Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 20, 2004
    I just recently acquired 6 ax bits, 2 splitting maul heads and what appears to be a couple of hatchet bits as well. Two of the tools are positively identified but the rest of them I have no idea who manufactured them. I also have several other axes and other tool bits that I've gotten at garage sales and some I bought from neighbors who moved recently.

    My question to all you good Brothers is >> How do you identify those tools that have no apparent stamps or markings on them? Are there small markings on some of those ax, maul and hatchet bits that I'm not aware of?

    Most of these look to be good quality too. One of the mauls is made by Collins and I've had some of their tools in the past and they seem like decent quality.

    So how do I go about identifying these or is there a way of doing it?
  2. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Unmarked tools are difficult to ID. Occassionally one will be recognized by some peculiar feature. If you post pictures maybe you'll get lucky and somebody will recognize one.
    quinton and rjdankert like this.
  3. HolyRoller


    Jul 18, 2007
    It's pretty difficult. If you're really lucky, someone who's very familiar can recognize an axe by a few, little details.

    For instance, eye ridges usually (but apparently not always) indicate True Temper.
    If the eye looks like three drilled holes, it's a Marbles.

    Post pictures, expect nothing, and you just might get lucky.
    Miller '72, Square_peg and rjdankert like this.
  4. 300Six


    Aug 29, 2013
    Posting detailed pictures (are there ridges in the eye, how's about red epoxy, number stamps etc) will definitely improve the odds of somebody piping up with ID and their reasons for it. And by gosh if it has any sort of stamp or markings forum whiz Steve Tall will probably hound dog it.
    Miller '72, Agent_H and Square_peg like this.
  5. Sabastianryan


    Jun 12, 2018
    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG] Can anybody help on identifying this hatchet ?
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
  6. Hickory n steel

    Hickory n steel

    Feb 11, 2016
    Pictures don't work, you gotta use an image Hosting sight first.
  7. Sabastianryan


    Jun 12, 2018
  8. Sabastianryan


    Jun 12, 2018
  9. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    My first guess is [something] BLACK with the last line saying SPRING[something].

    SPRINGFIELD looks like it could be too long a word, but I tried looking for something in SPRINGFIELD anyway and found an unrelated stamp on what looks like an identical hatchet:


    Without spending more time on it, I'll assume (perhaps incorrectly) that these hatchets were custom embossed for various hardware stores, and BLACK was part of the name of a hardware store, or a brand from a specific hardware seller.

    A remote possibility (or red herring?) is Black & Company.
    Black & Company began business on October 23, 1920, when Roy M. Black took over what was previously known as Gebhart Hardware in Decatur, Illinois... In the years to follow, Black & Company opened stores in Springfield (1924)...

    The second-to-last line looks like it begins with LE[something]. LELAND? LEHIGH? etc. etc.
  10. garry3


    Sep 11, 2012
    Looks like a Kelly.
  11. phantomknives


    Mar 31, 2016
  12. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010

    The last two lines might indicate

    The article below says this wholesale hardware company "in the Southwest" was founded in 1902 and by 1922 it had more than 100 employees plus 18 travelling salesmen.

    from The American Artisan and Hardware Record: 1922, Volume 84
  13. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Another lead from an old auction listing that sounds like a match:

    Hand Forged Hewing Axe,
    "JO BLACK"
    Lee Hardware Co.
    Shreveport, La.

    [unfortunately no photos]

    Some confirmation that the J O BLACK trademark (for axes) belonged to Lee Hardware Co of Shreveport, La.:

    from Hardware Age, 1962
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018
    Square_peg likes this.
  14. Square_peg

    Square_peg Gold Member Gold Member

    Feb 1, 2012
    Frickin' amazing, Steve!!!!!!

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