Axe Labels

One of the questions that we are frequently asked is “why doesn’t my axe have any maker’s mark or other manufacturer’s ID engraved into it?”

The answer is simple.

Many manufacturers glued paper labels to the axe head.  These labels were either removed by the buyer or wore off over time.  However, the labels that have survived in museums or in the hands of collectors give us a unique glimpse into how axes were marketed more than 100 years ago. 

In this post we will limit ourselves to showing some of the labels of axe makers from Oakland, Maine – a small town about 20 miles north of Augusta which in the early 1900’s boasted a dozen edge tool factories crowded along a one-mile stretch of the Messalonskee Stream.  These labels from Emerson & Stevens, Spiller, and Marsh & Sons are some of the most colorful and artistic ones we have collected.

Thanks to Art Gaffar for the images!