Axes and hatchets

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Russian made ax that is sharp enough to cut hair.

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A lovely nordic style bearde/gull wing hatchet.

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A pair of period style axes.

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A tool almost certainly older than the US.

Axes and hatchets were a tool that every man of the era knew, even those who did not know how to use an axe had an idea what they looked like and their purpose in life.

Many a man lives by the axe; some use the axe to make a living, others to keep the cook fires burning. A useful tool and as many who have lived with little know; a tool is only as good as the man wielding it. Many an axe has been in use for generations across more than one continent.

I have handled well used axes that predate the United States but doubtless will continue to be used until they wear out from use.

Pocket Knives

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A Henry Sears and Sons pocket knife; 1865 patent

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A pair of knives of the kind carried by many men of the era

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A trio of sailors knives made in France

Pocket knives were an item every soldier was bound to carry. There were a wide variety of types available, some specialized some very ordinary.

Every man carries a pocket knife. It is one of the most useful everyday tools a man can have. I have owned a variety of pocket knives over the years and have found I prefer “sailors knives” for everyday use. Simple and robust I use it for everything from an eating utensil to creating kindling for the fire. Over the years I have managed to acquire several different styles of pocket knives. I cannot imagine a time when every man does not have a pocket knife on his person.

During the war one of my men, Kevin, carried several different knives. I never really understood the need for more than one pocket knife but I sometimes saw him with as many as three. He used them for a variety of different things and viewed them as relatively disposable. I also recall him giving one of his pocket knives to a young boy sitting on his porch watching our column march by. Within minutes the child was happily whittling away on a stick.

Every dry goods, hardware and sutler has a variety of knives available for sale at a cheap price. Their quality varies considerably. The pocket knife is the one tool I always have on me.