Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Help requested for the meaning of C.T. on US 1797 weapon

  1. #1

    Help requested for the meaning of C.T. on US 1797 weapon

    Does anyone have any idea what C.T. could stand for on this 1797 model US naval boarding axe?
    Can anyone connect it with inspector's initials or a manufacturer around the same time period who possibly inspected or made other types of weapons?

    The axe, which is pictured below - courtesy of the USS Constitution Museum where the axe currently resides, is the only known survivor which is so marked and also very unusually seems to be date stamped although it is not absolutely certain the 97 is a date, it does seem likely.

    Any thoughts greatly appreciated.
    David.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    North West US
    Posts
    1,247
    This might be helpful. Looks kind of like the type one but could be a repo possibly as it looks in fantastic shape.
    https://boardingaxe.com/america.html
    Eric
    Last edited by Eric Fairbanks; 08-18-2019 at 04:28 PM.
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Kingston area, Ontario Canada
    Posts
    3,356
    I agree with Eric, myself being no axe expert but the photo of the axe appears to be a possible older reproduction. I could be wrong, but the shape, grinding marks etc. and when compared to boardingaxe.com website photos of originals do not match. Museums are notorious for getting things wrong and using repros for fill in display purposes. For what it's worth that's my gut feeling on this one. Blacksmiths today can make these quite convincingly. Axes being tools would have been used after their initial usage and should show wear, damage and age.

  4. #4
    Eric, Will, thanks for the input and yes, unfortunately, it is always a possibility and should always be considered.

    Against that, there is the serif font which is consistent with the age. Of course that can be faked as well but most repros don't bother with that detail. Modern repros of this, Type I, do exist but they are relatively easy to spot and have copied the more commonly known axe shown on the website. Records show that 100 of these axes were ordered for each of the first 3 Federal Navy frigates - Constitution, United States and Constellation - and it is thought that perhaps around 1000 were produced in total before the Type was superseded. There are only a handful of known survivors.

    The CT marked axe is in good condition and it is somewhat different to the other surviving examples but with so few remaining of this type it is hard to draw any conclusion. If genuine it may be one of a batch ordered by the government from a different manufacturer.

    Any ideas on C.T. anyone?

    Regards,
    David.
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  5. #5
    The only "CT" with which I am familiar, re: US military weapons, is on the US M1917 Bolo, where CT stands for "civilian tolerances". Made by Fayette R. Plumb (PLUMB) and American Cutlery Co. (ACC).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Stockholm, Sweden
    Posts
    191
    Could it be Connecticut, or is that too obvious?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Location
    North West US
    Posts
    1,247
    If it was CT possibly but it is C.T so I for one would doubt it. With the US stamp it is most likely a US certified inspector. There were many unnamed and forgotten inspectors of this era. I believe many were contracted for one or two orders of weapons. Luther Sage and Nathan Starr both applied to be government inspectors. Eric
    Last edited by Eric Fairbanks; 09-08-2019 at 03:24 AM. Reason: More info
    The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people." --- Tench Coxe

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Zieschang View Post
    The only "CT" with which I am familiar, re: US military weapons, is on the US M1917 Bolo, where CT stands for "civilian tolerances". Made by Fayette R. Plumb (PLUMB) and American Cutlery Co. (ACC).
    Hi Wayne,

    And thanks for that interesting thought.

    A little research shows that the due to lack of supply in WW1 the two civilian companies you mention were contracted to supply the Bolo to the government for military use and not for civilian use. The blades retained the US mark and were marked C.T. The companies argued that they could keep the cost down if they did not have to meet the fine tolerances of the military version as there was no real need for such accuracy in a knife.

    So it is a possibility and the axe in question is certainly slightly smaller than the other known examples but would the C.T designation stretch back over 100 years or was it just introduced for this particular Bolo weapon?
    It would be good to find another example.

    I will research more.

    David.

  9. #9
    Magnus, Eric,

    Thanks for your thoughts. I think Eric is probably right about Connecticut - it is almost always written without the period.

    An inspector was my first thought but I have not yet found one with those initials. Bezdek lists several hundred although of course as Eric suggests the list may not be complete.

    David.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •