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HIGHLAND PARK, KENTUCKY      1906-1908-1962?
By Tom Lamond ©
    Trademark registration papers show that the American Tool Company was issued Trademark Registrations Nos. 51,722 and 52,943 on April 24, 1906 and May 22 of 1906 respectively. Both descriptions indicated that the trademarks had been in use since June 1, 1905.
    A question arises concerning the name of the company due to the use of the same company name on labels attributed to the American Axe & Tool Co. That reference was in conjunction with axe labels bearing the name CRITERION along with a Buffalo, New York location. The CRITERION labels were quite similar in design to those that had been used by the Francis Axe Company of Buffalo, New York who had used the CRITERION label prior to joining the American Axe & Tool Co. This raises a question as to the legitimacy of the American Tool Company name bearing the Buffalo address.  
     At this point is is unclear if there were any connections to another company that operated under the same name but with Buffalo, New York as their location. Indications are that the Buffalo based company named American Tool Co. was a spin-off from the Francis Axe Co. or resurrection of one of the original companies that formed the American Axe & Tool Co. That company is only known to have marked axes around 1920 which coincided with the pending sale of the A. A. & To. to the Kelly Axe Mfg. Co. of Louisville, Kentucky.
     Another question that has arisen in conjunction with this axe company that was located in Highland Park is if there was a connection with the Louisville Axe & Tool Company. That company appears to have emerged in 1906 and may have been connected in some way with the American Tool Co. Perhaps the Louisville Axe & Tool Co. purchased the American Tool Co. along with its assets and trademarks. The trademark W. K. THOMPSON reflected the name of the individual that had received a patent entitled “Method of Manufacturing Edge Tools.” The patent was No.566,037. It was issued to William K. Thompson of Alexandria, Indiana on August 18, 1896.  Interestingly, the Kelly Axe Mfg. Co. was in the process of relocating to Alexandria at that time.
     There are three theories associated with the formation of the American Tool Co. One suggests that it may have been established by individuals that had been involved with the original Francis Axe Co. of Buffalo, NY. as a result of the original principals becoming dissatisfied with the A. A. & T. Co. Perhaps like a number of other original participants in the the American Axe & Tool Co. they sought to re-establish themselves in the axe manufacturing business. Quite possibly whatever was left of the equipment from the Francis Axe Co. was relocated to Kentucky. That could have been sometime around 1905.
     Another theory involves some of the individuals that had been involved in the Kelly Axe Mfg. Co. Perhaps they were hesitant in relocating to Alexandria and established their own company instead.
      A third theory suggests that certain individuals (possibly from the American Axe & Tool Co.) joined with a man named William J. Sager, and together they established a new axe manufactory near Louisville, Kentucky. The timing coincided when Sager appears to have withdrawn from the Warren Axe & Tool Co. The selection of the name American Tool Co. may have resulted in confusion because not long after the establishment of the company another company in approximately the same location emerged of bought out the American Tool Co. The newer company was the Louisville Axe & Tool Co. They used some of the same brands with similar labels and they adopted the use of a chemical process that in some ways suggested a connection to the Sager Process.  The name Louisville Axe & Tool Co. may have been used more effectively for marketing purposes although indications are that it continued as an alternate for a good number of years.
Registered trademark No. 51,722 issued April 24, 1906, to the American Tool Co., Highland Park, Kentucky. This mark was referred to as the Uncle Sam Trademark.
Registered trademark No. 52,943 issued May 22, 1906, to American Tool Co., Highland Park, Kentucky.
Cross reference other articles published on the YesteryearsTools web site that relate to this article;