Western Hatchets

In 1911, H. N. Platts, was able to draw on his extensive friendships and family connections in the cutlery world to start Western States Cutlery and Manufacturing of Boulder Colorado. At first only a jobbing business, by 1920 construction and machinery purchases were underway to begin manufacture of knives. Through name changes--to Western States Cutlery Co. in 1953, then Western Cutlery Co. in 1956--and moves first across town and later to Longmont Colorado, the company stayed under the leadership of the Platt family until 1984. In that year, the company was sold to Coleman, becoming Coleman-Western. Eventually purchased by Camillus in 1991, Western continued until Camillus expired in 2007.
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zzyzzogeton
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Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:47 pm

Western Hatchets

Post by zzyzzogeton » Tue May 26, 2020 7:31 pm

I did a search and found that Western hatchets seem to only be referenced peripherally is a couple of thread, primarily in conjuction with the 6610 and 3910 combo sets. So I figures I'd start a thread dedicated to the Western Hatchet.

This is an official BSA hatchet produced between 1936 and 1941. It was made in conjunction with Bridgeport Hardware Company in Bridgeport Connecticut.

The handle is a mix of bakelite and stacked leather. The 1936 catalog shows wood scales for the handle, with "OFFICIAL SCOUT" in the recess of the handle. Mine has the Bridgeport info in the recess, with WESTERN stamped into the mark side of the poll and a 1st Class Scout rank badge stamped into the cheek. This, along with a similar pommel on the 1936 - 1941 L36K knife, is also the first use of what I call the "calf's foot" pommel shape.

11886

Here's the brass butt plate stamp -

11885

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tongueriver
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Re: Western Hatchets

Post by tongueriver » Wed May 27, 2020 8:46 pm

Nice, ZZ. Is there a relationship between those Western pommels and the similar setup on Estwing hatchets?

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zzyzzogeton
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Re: Western Hatchets

Post by zzyzzogeton » Wed May 27, 2020 9:45 pm

tongueriver wrote:
Wed May 27, 2020 8:46 pm
Nice, ZZ. Is there a relationship between those Western pommels and the similar setup on Estwing hatchets?
I've always considered it a possibility. If Estwing was willing to pay for the rights to use the patent, I'm sure Western would have been willing to take their money. :mrgreen:

One would have to track Estwing's hatchets back through time via catalogs to see when they started using that pommel style.

Bridgeport hatchets have a similar handle shape, but they did not use the double tang construction. They riveted wood scales over the ribbed inset. I think (no proof) that Western contracted through Bridgeport to have their hatchets nade where ever Bridgeport was having theirs made. The shaft stamp is the same as what appears on Bridgeport hatchets, so Western just piggybacked on their order somehow, agreeing to leave the Bridgeport stamp on the shaft as a cost savings measure (1 less change between drop hammer dies).

I have never disassembled an Estwing to see how it was made, nor have I studied Bridgeports other than to collect a few BSA hatchets.

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