Plumb axe dating

Plumb bought out J. Labels and stampings used on tools made with the best refined iron with the points and bits being made of cast steel. Hammers in this group were carefully tempered and finished. Labels depicted in the Fayette R. Plumb catalog indicated that most F. Both the round and diamond shaped labels were used in different sizes. Facsimiles of paper labels used just after Fayette R. Plumb took complete control of the company. Label and stampings used on tools made with solid cast steel with the points and bits being made of tool steel, carefully tempered and finished. Some brands and accompanying labels used by Plumb represented patriotic themes.

Many of these brands emerged during and immediately after WWII. Some were continued for quite some time, even to the point of being carried over to the successors of the original Plumb Company. While some started as detailed images time often resulted in simplification. So too did catalog representations. Etching examples used as advertisements and by a California hardware wholesaler.

The Au-To-Graf etching was used on a line of axes considered to be of the highest quality. Label used on Plumb Special Pattern axes. Label used on Plumb axe, date unknown. One use of the Regal Label was on fire axes. In reality the "Companies" shown were brands treated as subsidiaries.

Facsimile of Liberty label as it was used on actual axes. The Plumb Anchor Brand was depicted on axes in a number of ways. Some of the etchings had the color red applied within the background area, some were just plain metal or completely black as the head was originally painted. Paper labels similar to the facsimile on the right were introduced after the name Plumb Champion was retired.

Representation of impressed marking. The larger square labels depicted above were applied to axes. The other labels and marks were used on hatchets, hammers, wedges and some other forged tools. Early paper labels used on some second and third grade quality tools. One of the most recognizable markings used by Plumb started to be used in and continued along with a couple of variations possibly until the s. The actual mark was not registered until as it was a common occurrence not to register marks until they had been used for some time.

This frequently was the result of Patent Office practices and Copyright Laws. Stampings were used to identify hatchets and trenching tools for military use. Quite frequently the markings on hatchets also included the year in which it was made. Labels with patriotic themes were quite popular immediately after WWII The design on the left was what the actual labels looked like.

The one on the right was used in some distributor catalogs. Plumb marking originally used by Fayette R. Registered as Trademark No. Plumb marking used as early as the s. Plumb decals were used on some axe and hatchet heads. Plumb marking used by the Cooper Group. They also renewed the original trademark but contemporary Plumb striking tools do not include a rectangle around the name. Labels used after Various labels were depicted in catalogs and represented with similar designs. Some were used on hatchets, others on axes. It may be that the simpler designs were produced for catalog reproductions while some of the actual labels were more detailed.

A number of brands were offered soon after the St. Louis plant was opened. Some were labeled from Philadelphia as well as St. Indications are that Plumb was the company that manufactured a variety of advertising hatchets, At least three companies providing such hatchets were major shoe distributors. Other were Coca Cola and Purina Feeds. Plumb made axes as well as hatchets with customized markings. Interestingly the word Every is misspelled It is believed that the hatchets with the "dog" design as well as the "duck" design were originally sold through the E. The duck designs have been observed with and without color and with and without the Keen Kutter logo.

The same is true for the dog designs. The customized examples with dates were provided after Shapleigh acquired E. Simmons suggesting that they were special orders, probably directly from Plumb. The examples of markings involving the names of individuals may have been ordered through Shapleigh but they were made by Plumb.

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Examples have been observed with other individualized designs suggesting that such special orders were popular for a number of years. Some of the markings have been identified as being directly related to organizations while some have yet to be connected to any specific group or company.


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Facsimile of a label specifically used on some of the axes made in St. Labels emphasizing the axes were made of solid steel. Variations of labels used after The Dreadnaught brand was used on axe labels from the s until possibly the s. Numerous hatchets and a few axes were made by Plumb that included designs directly associated with a particular brand or product.

These hatchets are now called "advertising" hatchets. More often than not such hatchets had nothing to do with a hardware company or tool distributor. They were a buying incentive or an enticement to spend a certain amount of money and then the purchaser would receive a hatchet. The hatchets and axes involved were good quality and even some of them also included the manufacturer's mark on the reverse side. Although not always specifically marked, indications are that Plumb was the company that manufactured most advertising hatchets. At least four companies providing such hatchets were major shoe distributors.

Scores of hardware concerns sold hatchets with their company logo etched into the head. It may be that some concerns provided promotional hatchets or axes bearing special markings like the one depicted. It may also be that Plumb manufactured a preponderance of such hatchets but most were not identified with the maker. Operator , May 9, FRP continues the operation, but passes away in Next generation of Plumbs continue to run the operation. Why they were not in on the American Axe and Tool co collaboration of 16 axe companies is not sure. Maybe they were too big, or maybe at the time too small to be bothered with, who knows.

However, due to the overall success of the company, they open a second plant in St Louis to meet demand in It is also reported they had various warehouses across the country as well. Now they just need to continue to build the brand. They do this by stepping up business, and also acquiring other companies, such as Philadelphia Tool Co, among various others, most of them based in the Philadelphia area at the time.

Here is a Phila Tool Co hatchet - How long they used these other companies logos is unsure, but usually they did, especially if it was an "off" brand or second rate brand, usually for hardware stores, etc. Hopefully everyone is familiar with the Plumb logo. It was used before of course, but that is the official patent date. This logo would be used on millions of tools including axes, hatchets, hammers, sledges, files, etc.

Here are a couple hammers - A couple axes - Plumb continues on up until the death of the axe age hits - the s - when the last family members are out in In roughly , Ames Co buys out Plumb. They keep the name and make a striking tool division named Plumb. They continue to manufacture axes hatchets, etc. In , this division is sold to the Cooper Group. This is where things get a little muddy. It is also reported some of the business might of been from overseas, especially Mexico and China.

I know Mexico isn't overseas but you know what I mean. In Cooper and Danaher Tool merge and form Apex Tool Group, which continues with the Plumb name today, mostly on hatchets and hammers.

So that is a quick run down on the company history. Not all inclusive by any means, but gives you a basic timeline of the company. Plumb is known as being one of the largest makers of axes and hatchets during the golden years of the axe age. I think they would rival Collins and Kelly with overall numbers, but I have no idea to what degree.


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  • I am not sure if that info is even available. I know in Pa there are a TON of Plumb axes and hatchets around, and they are popular on the sites as well for purchase. This leads me to believe they were a major player in the grand scheme of the axe age. So with that being said, let's look at the different axes, hatchets, etc of Plumb - Hatchets - Of course very popular like I said, and they made just about every kind imaginable - you will notice on these last 3 just pictured, the Plumb logo but with different names with it - Genuine, Guaranteed, and Victory.

    These were all marketing, especially the Victory which was immediate post WW2 to try and capitalize on post war euphoria and excitement. They are all pretty popular and did well for Plumb overall. Haven't seen too many like that.

    Plumb Hatchets

    Now with Plumb being one of the major players in the axe manufacturing business, they of course made axes and hatchets for various other companies, hardware stores, groups, etc. Let's take a look at some of these - Interestingly, when they made axes for other companies, they didn't always put their name on it, but sometimes it would have a marking on the opposite side. Such markings have been identified as crescent moon, heart, star, circle, boot, diamond, horseshoe. Why these were used is not entirely known, might be to identify a particular distributor, area of the country, etc.

    And again - Plumb was also one of the major manufacturers for the Military and Boy Scouts as well for hatchets and axes. Plumb military hatchets -. They are pretty similar, but if you look at multiple years you can notice differences. The military ones usually were dated on the hatchets, and sometimes on axes, but not always. I have a DefenseAx hatchet from Plumb with full intact paper label on head and handle, but it is at my old mans house, and somehow I don't have a picture of it I will get one and post it to an update here sometime.

    Plumb also made a wide variety of specialty axes and hatchets for various companies, and some of my favorite are the hardware axes, and especially the advertising axes.

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    These to me show a different time when advertising on an axe was routine, accepted, sought after, etc. I am not sure who would advertise with an axe nowadays As with all axe companies, competition was fierce and these companies had to get their name in the game. Dating Plumb axes is extremely hard due to the fact that on the majority of their axes, they used the PLUMB with a rectangle around it. Sometimes you will see variations of it, such as Plumb Victory, Guaranteed, Genuine, etc which will help to date it. If it is just the Plumb stamping, tough to say really. C3 Knives Water Stone Posts: IMO it's a gem!

    Love the old ones C3 Knives on June 23, ,