© Thomas C. Lamond
The general use of the name AMERICAN STYLE AXE primarily applies to single bit axes that have more weight in the poll than similar axes made elsewhere. Frequently the name also applies to axes that have a significantly tapered eye as compared to axes with a “European Eye” or a “Spanish Eye” that vary from quite squared to very rounded. The later styles had/have less weight on the pole side and tend to have poorer balance.
The use of the term EMBOSSED is commonly applied to the relief designs that were processed into the cheeks of axes. Actually the correct term should be ETCHED which involves using an acid in conjunction with a mask. That is the process that was used to achieve such relief designs. The term EMBOSSED suggests that the design was pressed into the metal from the back.  If the relief designs had been pressed into the metal from the front the correct term would be IMPRESSED. Proper lettering and line designs were achieved by rolling a die across the surface being marked.