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Which stamp came first? "Norlund" or "Genuine Norlund"?

Discussion in 'Axe, Tomahawk, & Hatchet Forum' started by GrungeBlud, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. GrungeBlud


    Aug 7, 2018

    I cannot find out for certain which was first. I always read that the "earlier ones" were better than the "newer ones". Wouldn't "Genuine Norlund" be the later years? I've seen people brag about their Norlund being an early one with both stamps. lol
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2018
  2. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    It seems strange, and it's a bit of a mystery, but perhaps the Genuine Norlund stamps came first, judging from this ad, supposedly from 1966, which refers to "genuine Norlund". According to YesteryearsTools, Norlund production began in 1968, so they were already advertising "genuine Norlund" before they even began producing them?

    Field and Stream
    - Volume 71 - Page 240

    1966 - ‎Snippet view
    This genuine NORLUND HUDSON BAY AXE has 2Vi lb. head (guaranteed for life), forged from finest steel — is razor sharp. Pole weatherproofed hickory handle (24") for perfect balance.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2018
    Agent_H, GrungeBlud and BamaDADx3 like this.
  3. GrungeBlud


    Aug 7, 2018

    It's strange how the year of advertisement and the year they started production differ from each other. Amazing find there! It's even more strange they would start with "Genuine Norlund" and end (assuming its the last stamp they used) with "Norlund". Very interesting and a big thanks! I figured they added the prefix "genuine" after imitations started to float around or something. I remember reading here on bladeforums on a similar thread that another member thought that would be the case as well. I just love the fact they are from before my time. Dave Canterbury (love him) is the only reason I've heard of these axes. Why are they so special? Is there even a reason besides its age? I've seen older things than any Norlund axe and valued much lower. I've read its only nostalgia making these axes worth anything.
    Hickory n steel likes this.
  4. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    I'm thinking that YesteryearsTools is probably mistaken about 1968, because here's another ad for a Norlund axe, supposedly from 1965:

    Hardware Age - Volume 195, Issues 1-6 - Page 117
    1965 - ‎Snippet view
    Camper's axe, safety sheath The Norlund Hudson Bay camper's axe is forged from fine steel and guaranteed for life. It comes...

    There's no mention of "genuine" in the 1965 ad, so perhaps the earliest ones weren't stamped Genuine, it was added later (in some unknown year), and then the "Genuine" was dropped (in another unknown year) for the most recent ones? Who knows?

    Regarding the premium price that vintage Norlund axes seem to now have, I think it must be something about the brand recognition and perceived backwoods "mystique", plus perhaps some nostalgia of those who heard of them while growing up.
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  5. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    Some details from another thread show that the Norlund company existed back around 1910, and Norlund was listed as a division of Mann Edge Tool in 1962. So it's understandable why Mann might want to stamp "Genuine" on the Norlund axes, since the brand was already known.


    Some of the YesteryearsTools information on Norlund is incomplete. For example, Norlund (not Norland), of Williamsport PA, was evidently selling gaffs, fish spears, and "creepers" back around 1910:

    from The Outdoorsman's Handbook (formerly The Angler's Guide), Volume 1910
    edited by Wainwright Randall, Reuben Johnson Held, Edward Baldwin Rice, Warren Hastings Miller

    Olof A. Norlund (not Norland), of Williamsport PA, was awarded a patent for a similar gaff in 1901.


    A trademark for Norlund's was registered in Canada in 1950, with indication that it was first used in Canada in 1914, and first used in the USA in 1910. The name of the applicant was:
    1718 East Third Street
    Williamsport, Pennsylvania
    and the holder of the registration was:
    Lewistown, Pa.
    (from WIPO Global Brand Database)

    Interesting photos (from an old auction listing) of a gaff marked


    A "Hardware Age" listing, reportedly from 1962, shows that O.A. Norlund Co. was a Division of Mann Edge Tool.
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  6. Steve Tall

    Steve Tall

    Aug 28, 2010
    The Canadian trademark information shows that Mann Edge Tool applied for the Norlund's trademark in 1950, and that the trademark was first used in the USA in 1910, and in Canada in 1914 (but axes and hatchets are not listed there in the related goods and services).

    GrungeBlud likes this.
  7. Square_peg


    Feb 1, 2012
    Yeah, the old Norlund company was abandoned and the old name was picked up for nothing.
    GrungeBlud likes this.
  8. j_d


    Jan 14, 2006
    Interesting thread. Any info on one with a canoe/paddler?

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