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Historic Axe Manufacturing Facilities of the United States as shown by the Sanborn Maps

Project Type



September 2022

The Maps we commonly refer to as the “Sanborn Maps” were created with the intent to be used by fire insurance companies to assess the risk of insuring property from loss by fire. In the mid-1860s, Daniel Sanborn, an engineer and surveyor, began working on individual fire insurance maps for the Aetna Insurance Company. As the use of such maps was noted as valuable, Sanborn started his own company called the D. A. Sanborn National Insurance Diagram Bureau. Around 10 years later, Sanborn changed the name of the company to the Sanborn Map and Publishing Company. In 1889, the Sanborn Company acquired an older firm by the name of Perris and Browne, and the company name was changed yet again to the Sanborn-Perris Map Company. Eventually, in 1902, the company last changed its name to the Sanborn Map Company, the name by which it would be known until its last updates in the late 1970s.
The Maps included in this book encompass a select sampling of axe manufacturing facilities, including those producing axe head and axe handles, and some who would become distributors of axes and other edge tools. The maps are fragments of the original Sanborn fire insurance maps, and provide some great insight into the original form of the facilities, as well as how many changed over time. The images should prove helpful to historian and enthusiast alike, and are sure to be enjoyed by anyone interested in the history of the axe manufacturing industry.

This wonderful selection of maps is available on Amazon at the following link:

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