Cleaver, ca. 1865


This cleaver has a 10 1/4" long blade and is signed "BILLINGS" "CAST STEEL" "AUGUSTA" on separate lines. Many Billings are listed in the Registry of Maine Toolmakers as working in N. Monmouth, Clinton and Saco. John P. Billings and his son George made axes in Clinton from about 1860 to 1909. Other members of the Billings clan are listed as making tools as early as the 1840's.
A cleaver is a butcher's tool for cutting meat and bone.

When making this cleaver (as well as the clapboard slick also in the collection of The Davistown Museum) did Billings utilize imported English cast steel or American made cast steel (1865 forward)?

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