I am always asking clerks at old hardware stores to show me their hidden axe and hammer handles. Found this axe head among other old tools my father has gathered (no longer using). ' And I'll look down, and whisper 'No." And wish the estate o' the world were now undone. It is a standard, multi-purpose head design that was good for chopping, better for limbing and adequate for splitting. I have some old Sears catalogues from the 1870s and 1890s (reprints) and there are lots of different axes available for sale in them and in some Hudson Bay Co.
They've usually got them stashed away in old boxes and behind display cases and they sell them cheap. He most likely got it from my great uncle (a true craftsman). There were hundreds of axe makers in the late 19th and early 20th century so unless you can find a makers mark stamped into the steel, it's all guessing. archives I've got copies of from the late 1790s there is one "grosse" (144) of axes on hand for trade in the Rupert House region.
My boy and I have already recently put it through its paces. I may still swing them one handed, but it gives me a two-handed option if I want.
I just recently finished restoring one of my Grandpappy's old hatchets. to this: I almost always lengthen the handles on them when I restore old axes.
I've tried to clean up the edge a little with a flat file. Take it into a sandblaster's shop and have him clean the rust off for you...
Take it to a grinder and put an edge on it, handle it and oil the surface and you'll have a decent axe.
It took a lot of naval jelly, a lot of muratic acid and a lot of scrubbing to get it ready to prime and paint.
You MUST get all the rust off first - then prime with a rust inhibitor, then paint with a good enamel paint. I remember my Grandpappy having it in the sixties - my Dad thinks he had it when him and Mom were married in the fifties ... He used to be bad about using it to mix concrete - I don't know why but it took me a couple of days of scrubbing with a metal brush to get all that old concrete out of the crevices.