The American axe industry traces its roots back to the first blacksmith shop at the Jamestown colony in the early 1600’s. The need for and development of a truly American axe was driven by the vast stands of virgin timber that needed to be cut and the DIY mentality of the early settlers. The French trade axe, a poll-less hatchet too small for felling, was produced to trade with Native Americans. A variation of this axe is the Hudson Bay axe – still produced today.
In 1826, the Collins Axe Company in Collinsville, Connecticut became one of the first large forging operations in the United States. Other famous axe makers whose axes can still be found, restored and used today are the Kelly – True Temper, Mann Edge Tool, Plumb, Spiller, and Vaughn.
The Collins Company, Collinsville, CT
Check out our blog articles with additional detail on these companies and their products:
An extensive collection of information on axe manufacturers, their products and the various labels, embossings and trademarks can be found at www.yesteryearstools.com.
Other sources of information on axe manufacturers can be found in:
- American Axes, Henry J. Kauffman, Masthof Press (2007)
- Axe Makers of North America, Allen Klenman, Copy Factory LLC (2nd Edition 2006)