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HULL, QUEBEC, CANADA   1864-1973
By Tom Lamond ©
    What was to eventually became the Walters Axe Company actually started as H. Walters & Sons in 1889, although Henry T. Walters had purchased the company in 1886. Henry Walters had been the foreman of S. J. Tongue & Co. of Ottawa, Quebec,  in 1864. Two years later he was reportedly working as an axe maker in the factory of Sexton Washburn in Hull, Quebec. The family history indicated that Henry had actually purchased that company himself in 1886 but the company name wasn't changed until 1889. It was then that it became H. Walters & Sons.
     Initially, the Walters sons involved were Henry, Jr., David and James. It wasn't until sometime after another son, Morley,  graduated from McGill University in 1897 that he also became associated with the company. Morley had received a degree in engineering and by the time Henry, Sr. passed away in 1901, Morley was quite active in the business, rising to the presidency by 1912.
     The company name was changed to the Walters Axe Co., Ltd., right around the time Morley took over in 1912. It was about then that Morley purchased the company and became president, a position he held until he too passed away. That was in 1969 when he was 101 years old. He had been the company president for 57 years.
     All during that time the plant in Hull continued in operation. The company also maintained a manufacturing facility an warehouse in Ogdensburg, New York quite probably to accommodate the business activities that they were  engaged in within the United States.
      After Morley's death, the company was sold. By 1973 axes were no longer in significant demand to continue the operation and the new company closed its doors.  
A common label used by the Walters Axe Co. was more complex when initially introduced but the actual coors are not yet known. Modifications to the overall appearance resulted in a simpler design printed on foil.
The OTTAWA CHIEF brand designs were used by the Walters Axe Co. on labels and in advertising. There were different color combinations as well as significant design variations.
Label adhered to some handles on BLACK DIAMOND axes exported to Australia.
Design printed on company letterhead (years unknown).
Stamping that applied to many Walters Axe Co. axes both with labels and combined with other stamped wording. The B.C. GOV’T stamp indicated the axe belonged to the British Columbia Government
Stampings that applied to many Walters Axe Co. axes both with labels and combined with other stamped wording. The B.C. GOV’T stamp indicated the axe belonged to the British Columbia Government
The three stamping above have been observed on a Northwest Pacific Falling Axe. The two at the left were separated by a rectangular BLACK DIAMOND label as depicted above and the name FLECK BROS. (a major distributor) is stamped on the reverse side.
Above: Paper label based on the BLACK DIAMOND brand possibly for selling flexibility.
Lower: Simple BLACK DIAMOND paper label.
    The Walters Axe Co. Black Diamond brand represented the best that the Walters Axe Company had to offer. The brand developed a reputation for being of the highest quality and was used on a number of axe patterns. Observations reveal that axes bearing the BLACK DIAMOND brand were exported to Australia and quite possibly other countries. In situations where distributors or vendors competed for sales in the same area the EDGE brand was offered with the label suggesting that the axe had an edge comparable to the BLACK DIAMOND axes.
      It is quite possible that the brand was intended to reflect the reputations attributed to a type of steel bearing the same name.
NOTE: Facsimiles of a number of BLACK DIAMOND labels and markings appear in various places in this article.
Note the use of the word HACHE which reinforces the sales to uses in other areas and who spoke other languages.
     The Walters Axe Co. used a variety of axe labels, the variations of which did not just involve coloring, wording and content. They also varied considerably in shape.
     Some Walters Axe Co. labels were based on companies that they had acquired.
Many of the black and white labels depicted represent those that were printed in Catalog No.5 by H. Walters & Sons with modifications to the overall appearances of the labels.
This company will be included in the CANADIAN AXE MAKERS booklet.