About this objectThe adze is a shaping and smoothing tool. It has been in use for thousands of years, to the Egyptians in their picture writings, the adze meant "The Able One".
The adze has been in Australia since the arrival of the First Fleet. An official inventory from the Fleet shows that twenty adzes were brought out from England. They were called "Shipwright Adzes" because of a minor modification of the hammer end of the blade. These were called "Pin Pole" adzes. Generally in Australia, the "Square Pole" adze became popular.
When the adze is used, the handle is gripped with both hands and the blade swung between the user's legs, who maintains a standing position. Over the years, the adze became known in Australia as "the old shin spliltter" for obvious, and I presume, painful reasons.
This implement was in use from the first days of the settlement in Sydney Cove, and is still a valued piece of equipment for working and shaping round timber. In building the early huts, buildings, shed and fences, the use of the adze become clearly evident to most people who have worked bush timber.
There were adept users of the tool, who prepared laths, watling and such things as bullock yokes, parts of wagons and other vehicles were partly fashioned before the final finish was completed. Adzemen were a permanent part of the teams which built the early bridges.
This adze was owned and used by the late Walter Francis Kabel, of 'Glen Iris', near Barry. He was my father and we traced this adze's life back to pre-1900. During the early days, such pieces of equipment were priceless items to the man of the soils farm equipment. I remember at times, that I believed that some special sort of respect existed between these bushmen and their animals and possibly his farm equipment. 'Glen Iris' is now owned by the Toohey boys of Barry. My wife's father, Hilton Cork, also owned the property for some years. Mr Cork taught my wife and I at Barry, where he was a school teacher from 1922 to 1944.
Date Madepre 1900
Medium and MaterialsMetal
Inscription and Marks2
simple fish outline
Warrented Cast Steel