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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 6:34 pm    Post subject: Spontoon Tomahawks         Reply with quote

I have a few questions about spontoon tomahawks...

When did they first appear? Who invented them and why? How functional were they as tools? How functional were they as weapons? Could they be thrown well? Does anyone make decent replicas of spontoon tomahawks?

I'm also looking for general info and photos of spontoon tomahawks.


Thanks!

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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Tom King




Location: florida
Joined: 11 Sep 2009
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Mon 01 Mar, 2010 9:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

American indian 18-19th century. Not my period (off by literally 1000 years) but from what I gather they were trade axes ground down to look like spontoon heads on colonial NCO polearms
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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 5:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nobody knows anything else about Spontoon Tomahawks? WTF?!
Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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Tom King




Location: florida
Joined: 11 Sep 2009
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 428

PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

They are too late period, really no one cares Big Grin
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Robert Coleman




Location: kansas
Joined: 17 Feb 2009

Posts: 10

PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 8:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You might try here http://www.network54.com/Forum/147444/
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Jerry Knox




Location: Palm Bay, Florida, USA
Joined: 12 Jun 2007

Posts: 53

PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 9:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can tell you that the windlass steelcrafts replica sold by atlanta cutlery is an almost exact copy of an original I saw in the Raleigh museum of history this past week.

I was frankly surprised by this, because when I first held the replica, I was sure that it was too large and bulky (it is, in my opinion, gargantuan), but seeing an original, I have to give them credit for an excellent replica. The thing is about the size of one of my camp axes, and if it had a standard cutting edge, would work well for felling medium sized trees!

----------------added-------------------

Also, there was in the same museum, next to the spontoon tomahawk, a straight wooden club with a small spear head set in the side of it (think bronze age dagger-axe) and I remember thinking that the designs might be related. They at least would have functioned the same.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,820

PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 11:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I had always found the old Trpod tomahawk pages quite informative but were canceled.

http://members.tripod.com/tomahawks-r-tatca/id19.htm

Photo intensive and a real chore on dial up, the pages can be viewed through archive.org

http://web.archive.org/web/*/http://members.t...a/id19.htm

Go to the last revised and I have had pretty good luck in getting all the pages to load. Use the index at the top at the first/home page for navigation, as opposed to "click next".

Cheers

GC
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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 2:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, I'll check out those sites!


Tom King wrote:
They are too late period, really no one cares Big Grin


There are (were?) a couple of 18th century guys on here, I though they might know. Laughing Out Loud

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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Glen A Cleeton




Location: Nipmuc USA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 1,820

PostPosted: Wed 03 Mar, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There were spear poll type hawks earlier than the 19th century and maybe part of the evolution of the spear end being more useful as a weapon but the true spontoon types do seem to fall later than that and a pretty much entirely native American affectation.

Look to the Rogers Rangers and even earlier to the French & Indian colonial era hawks that were pretty widely distributed to troops. Spikes and spear point (back) poll forms were not at unusual by the end of the 18th century. Pipe hawks were quite popular and carried by a good number of the Lewis & Clark expedition, as well as spontoons but not spontoon hawks. There is an endless source in simple internet searches that will yield what one puts into the effort. There is a lot of written historical "blogs".

www.rogersrangers.org/

http://lewis-clark.org/


(Beaver) Bill Keeler makes and sells some very affordable and well made (and thought through) hawks.

www.beaverbill.com/

Cheers

GC
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Dan McGehee




Location: Chicago IL
Joined: 04 Mar 2010

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 7:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Greetings

There appear to be five general types of tomahawks, aside from a simple hatchet. Pipe, poll (hammer), spike, spontoon, and halberd. Spontoon and halberd are the least common, both as originals and reproductions. All iron tomahawks were produced by Europeans, either British Americans or French Canadians, for the fur trade, and the general consensus seems that the spontoon hawk got its design and its name because it mimics the spontoons carried by line officers in 17th and 18th century armies. The fancier the hawk, the more its worth in trade. Most I've seen have pipes on the back, too, as smoking was as much an obession then as now. Some were so exaggerated as to be useless for anything but impressing the nieghbors, but other were deadly serious, and first hand accounts of the 18th century make numerous refences to tomahawks being thrown in battle. The seem likely to be French in origin, but that is only a guess, because the style disappears after the English victory in 1763. Never heard of anyone other than indians carrying them, but who knows? Some Brit light infantryman or colonial ranger with a flair for the dramatic may have packed one.
If your looking for a good custom piece at a good price, try Ebay. With a little patience you can find some excellent hawks by blacksmiths around the country, at great prices too. I could dig up some pics of past hawks I've seen, but your best bet is to troll the longhunter/blackpowder smiths and gunmakers websites, most of them to tomahawks as well. Good luck.
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Perry L. Goss




Location: Missouri
Joined: 15 May 2004
Likes: 2 pages

Posts: 109

PostPosted: Thu 04 Mar, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject: spontoon hawks         Reply with quote

A. Spanjer:

Have had numerous hawks. Bearded axes and such. A spontoon is "useful" for only one thing IMHO, killing. Would personally question even that. Full force blow into..."something" will imbed the head deeply. Limiting extraction. My two cents worth.

They look great though. Be very careful about weight and balance though. Shop around and look at as many as you can, talk to as many blacksmiths as possible. The rascals are brutally difficult to balance properly. Pipe hawk spontoons too.

There is a tremendous link out there somewhere, with hundreds of original period axes. I just do not have it right now. There was a French trade site, but that site was taken down late last year in preparation for a book. Money you know! It had several on it, with provenance and the like.

Thanks!

Scottish: Ballentine, Black, Cameron, Chisholm, Cunningham, Crawford, Grant, Jaffray, MacFarlane, MacGillivray, MacKay-Reay/Strathnaver, Munro, Robertson, Sinclair, Wallace

Irish/Welsh: Bodkin, Mendenhall, Hackworth

Swiss: Goss von Rothenfluh, Naff von Zurich und Solland von Appenzel
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