Acquisition No.: 2004-33
Title: Booklet and Two Tomahawks; A Lewis and Clark Study, 2004.
Item History:

This Pine Knob Iron Works study involved interpretation of Lewis and Clark Journals, blacksmithing skills and a sophisticated CAD Computer System. The two axe/tomahawks are here faithfully reproduced as they were originally manufactured by the three blacksmiths who completed the epic journey over two centuries ago.

Both the Spontoon Axes and the War Axes were fabricated from a no longer needed sheet metal cook stove that troops transferred as far as they could during the Lewis and Clark Journey. The blacksmith's work resulted in the only items that the Mandan Indians agreed to trade Lewis and Clark for a portion of the Native American's valuable winter food stores. Thus the blacksmiths prevented extreme hunger or starvation, and the possibility of the explorers having to turn back at a time when temperatures plunged to an unexpected forty degrees below zero. Living off the land as they heretofore planned had become impossible. The three blacksmiths and their assistants may well have made the difference between a successful journey and turning back in failure.

The weight and dimensions of the two axes were loaded into a sophisticated CAD computer in 2004. Dimensions and weight data was obtained directly from the Lewis' and Clark journals. No thickness was recorded by the travlers. Based on .288 pounds per cubic inch, all that remained was to vary the thickness of the CAD model until the dimensions matched the recorded weight. Coincidentally a discarded modern fireplace insert turned out to be the same thickness as the old Lewis and Clark cook stove. It was from that insert that these axes were fabricated.

Location: Case V
Acq. Date: 2004
Acquired from: Karl Orndorff
Price ($): -
Type: accession
Curator: ckrc