Collection Highlights

General-Purpose Axe

1988.0805 – Photo: Tom Alföldi 


History:

In the 1930s, many families still travelled into the countryside to cut their own Christmas trees. Canada’s iron foundries supplied them with the necessary tools, such as this general-purpose axe and the stand used to display the tree.

Current Location:

Collection Storage Facility

Provenance:

This axe is part of a large collection of forest-firefighting equipment acquired from the Petawawa National Forestry Institute (PNFI).  Established in 1918 as the Petawawa Research Experiment Station, the PNFI quickly became a world leader in forest fire management and suppression technologies.

Technical History:

This “Black Diamond” single-bit/Canadian wedge axe is typical of the type made and used in Canada. It was probably most common in Eastern Canada. With a cutting edge of 10 centimetres, it was used for felling trees and for trimming and chopping. The wooden handle is hand-made. The head is metal and demonstrates the use of a wedge to hold the handle in place. “Black Diamond” axes were manufactured and used between 1885 and 1967.

Manufacturer Information:

Walters Axe Company, Ltd. operated in Hull (now Gatineau), Quebec, from 1885 to 1967. It manufactured “Black Diamond” axes for most of that time.

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