Walters Axe Company
Lee Valley collection
The two axes shown here are examples of what was referred to
as the “Canadian Wedge “ by the Sheffield toolmakers. They represent
two different eras of manufacture by the Walters Axe Co. These
axeheads are from the permanent Lee Valley collection of woodworking
By 1864, Henry T. Walters was working as foreman for Samuel
Tongue Edge Tool Works in Ottawa. He had moved over to Sexton
Washburn’s axe manufactory by 1869. Both companies produced
large numbers of broad axes used in the Ottawa Valley’s flourishing
timber trade. In 1885, Walters bought the Washburn operation,
which was by then located in Brewery Creek, Hull, Québec. Walters
changed the name from H. Walters to Walters and Son in 1888.
The following year we find it listed as (H) Walters and Sons.
In 1899, Harry and Morley P. Walters joined their brothers,
David and James, to work with their father, Henry, in the factory.
Henry died in 1901 and the name of the company was changed to
Walters and Sons.
By 1909, the company had established two branch outlets, one
in Winnipeg, and the other in Vancouver. Morley P. Walters became
president of Walters Axe Company in 1912. To gain access to
the growing American market, the company operated a warehouse / shipping
outlet in Ogdensburg, New York, from about 1945 to 1960.
Morley P. Walters was an avid outdoorsman with strong opinions.
Under his leadership of over 60 years, the company produced
quality axes for reasonable prices. Never one to shy away from
competition, Walters always claimed his axes were the best on
the market and never hesitated to extol their virtues. After
his death in 1969, the company continued to exist until 1973,
when its shareholders decided to shut down operations.
Walters’ axes were produced with marks and labels such as “Boss
of the Woods”, “Charcoal Temper”, “Ottawa Chief” and “never
too soft and free from flaws.” Walters Axe Co. also produced
some axes for Hartwell Brothers Limited of Walkerville, Ontario.
Regrettably, by the company’s final days, some axes were made
by Hults Bruk of Sweden and marketed under the Walters name,
ending over 150 years of continuous axe production in the Ottawa