Dateline: 24 May 2014
My son Robert was helping to clean out a barn. There was a rusty, pitted old axe head that was being thrown out. He brought it home and told me he was going to grind off the rust. I wish I had thought to take a picture of the axe head as he found it. The thing looked pretty hopeless.
After an hour or so of grinding, he brought the axe head to me and said, "Hey dad, it says Kimball on it."
|(click picture to see an enlarged view)|
A little web searching turned up a Barker, Rose & Kimball double-bit axe with a handle selling for $250 on Ebay. Then I found the Barker, Rose Kimball Collection at the Chemung, NY historical society.
The company was started as Ayrault & Rose in 1864. The name changed over the years as different partners came into the business. Howard Kimball came into the company in 1928 and was there until 1952. I can find no other information about Barker, Rose & Kimball, or the Cayuga Axe Company.
I am, of course, wondering if Howard Kimball might have been a relation to me. I'm going to assume he was a cousin of some sort. Most of us Kimballs are related, with our common ancestor being Richard Kimball, going back to 1864.
Robert plans to put a hickory handle on the axe and keep it for the rest of his life. I like that.
So, if you see an old, rusty, pitted axe somewhere, I suggest that you grind the rust off. Who knows, you might find your name on it.