The TREDWAY HDW. CO. and the

      The firm that eventually became known as A. Tredway claimed to have roots dating back to a firm that had been founded in 1853. The specifics of the original establishment is currently unknown but some early paper labels included the name H. E. Tredway. That suggests that someone with that name, perhaps the father of A. Tredway, was at one time involved with the company.
   Between the years 1853 and 1873 the firm used the marking Andrew & Tredway along with the location name Dubuque on the blades of pocket cutlery. The partners were William Andrew and Andrew Tredway. In 1873 they changed the name to Andrew, Tredway & Sons and continued to use that name until 1889 when William Andrew retired. The company became A. Tredway Sons for a few years, believed to be between the time that A. Tredway left the firm and 1904, possibly a bit longer. That name was in effect when A. Tredway Sons purchased the Schreiber, Conchar & Westphal Co. in 1904. The firm was then incorporated as A. Tredway & Sons and continued to operate under that name until 1929 when they merged with the Kretschmer Hardware Co. The new firm operated under the name Kretschmer-Tredway Company. That name was in effect when A. Tredway Sons purchased the Schreiber, Conchar & Westphal Co. in 1904. The change to A. Tredway & Sons was formalized between 1904 and 1907.
    In 1929 the company merged with the Kretschmer Manufacturing Company. The Kretschmer Mfg. Co. had been founded in 1907. The name of the company became Kretschmer-Tredway in 1929.
   The A. Tredway & Sons Co. is associated with the use of three brand names that were used on axes. The Lincoln Axe brand may well have been the most famous but they also used Wizard and Old Hickory. Indications are that the Wizard brand was used before A. Tredway acquired the rights to use the Lincoln Axe brand. This comment is based on the use of the name H. E. Tredway along with the brand Wizard on axe labels. An examination of the Wizard label that appeared in the 1909 A. Tredway & Sons catalog includes the words "H. E. Tredway's" at the top of the label and "Manf'd Only For A.   Tredway Sons Hdw. Co." That was located below the name “Wizard Axe.” It is quite possibly that at the time A. Tredway & Sons had a contractual agreement to the brand but that situation is unclear.
   The Wizard brand was used on other tools as well as axes. Such tools included adzes, hammer handles, wood saws and saw blades. 
    Axe labels with the Wizard brand and Old Hickory brand were made by the Mann Edge Tool Co. and The Collins Company at various times. The originators are unknown but both were sold through other wholesalers at different times. That suggests that A. Tredway and A. Tredway & Sons could not make a proprietary claim to the brand. The actual manufacturer provided the labels with the name of each company they sold the axes to. That was a common practice with a variety of tools and common practice amongst axe manufacturers and wholesalers.
   Like most wholesalers, A. Tredway Sons and A. Tredway & Sons also sold other tools bearing other brands. From those identified it appears they may all have been the brands provided by the actual manufacturers.


   The Kretschmer-Tredway Hardware Company was formed by the merger of the Kretschmer Hardware Company and A. Tredway & Sons Hardware Company. That was in 1929. The firm continued to operate until 1985 (some indications suggest possibly 1887) when it discontinued the wholesale hardware portion of the business and concentrated on distributing electrical and plumbing supplies. As of the beginning of the twenty-second century they were still in that business.
   Judging from the variety of different etchings and other markings used to identify Lincoln Axes after 1929, it appears that a couple of companies became involved in manufacturing those axes. The brand was one of the most recognizable brands of axes marketed by the Tredway companies and then Kretchmer-Tredway. The advent of World War II in 1939 placed great demands on raw materials and other resources associated with major manufacturing. It was a time when many trusted and recognized brands, along with a wide variety of hardware goods themselves, were discontinued.
Facsimile of a paper label  as it appeared in a Tredway Hardware catalog dated 1909.
Representation of the last etching used on Lincoln Axes marketed by Kretschmer-Tredway.
Facsimiles of paper labels used on axes sold by A. Tredway & Sons Hdw. Co.
Representation of etching used on some axes sold by A. Tredway & Sons Hdw. Co.
Facsimile of paper label used on some Lincoln Axes sold by Kretschmer- Tredway
Representation of  etching used by Kretschmer-Tredway on some axes.
Representation of etching used on some Lincoln Axes sold by Kretschmer- Tredway
Cross reference articles published on the YesteryearsTools web site that relate to this article; The Lincoln Axe
Schreiber, Conchar & Westphal
1853 -1873
1873 -1889
1889 -1904
1904 -1929
1929 -1987
By Tom Lamond ©