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