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A Brief History of the True Temper "3 Line Stamps" of the Kelly Works

Project type

Text, 252 pages


August 2023

The 1942 Catalog of the Kelly Works of the American Fork and Hoe Company introduced the world to a new, highly recognizable stamped label for the company's top of the line axes. Within the pages of that catalog lay pictures or mention of 9 of the 13 “3 Line Stamp” lines. Perfect, Flint Edge, Dynamic, Vulcan, World’s Finest, Hand Made, Registered, Black Raven, and Lippincott were all noted as “True Temper”, premium grade offerings. Falls City, Woodslasher, Champion and Briar Edge were also included, but as lines that were not “True Temper” and marked with a standard stamp of the line name and “Kelly Works” along the edge of the poll. Each of the 9 lines, as well as 4 more that would be added later, came from lines with previous history within the company, and each would have its own backstory and future within the company and the axe world. This modest text explores the history and identification of each line, and includes guides for estimating the age of the most commonly collected versions of those axes.

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