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Antique Tobacco Cutting Tomahawk Knife and Spear Set

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    Posted 4 years ago

    jscott0363
    (456 items)

    Hello fellow collectors!!

    With the Burley tobacco cutting season in full swing here in Kentucky, I thought I'd post my antique set of tobacco cutting tomahawk knife and spear set.

    My family has many of these and this just happens to be my set. They've been used to cut Burley tobacco for many generations of the Thompson family. This set has cut a lot of tobacco in it's life. Lots of tobacco gum still embedded into the hickory wood handle.

    They once belonged to my Great Grandfather Thompson and have been passed on down to my Grandfather Thompson, then to my Father and on to my brothers and I. I hope to pass this set along to my sons one day.

    Our family stopped growing tobacco back in the 1980's after the US government placed heavy regulations on it and began buying out tobacco bases from farmers to keep them from growing it any longer. There is still a lot of tobacco grown in Kentucky, but the crops that are grown are grown under contract with tobacco companies and not the open market like it used to be in the good ole days.

    Thanks for stopping to have a look!!!

    Scott

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    Comments

    1. Recordmantime, 4 years ago
      how cool is that ...nice one Scott........
    2. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Recordmantime,
      Thank you sir!! Yep, I've laid down a lot of sticks of Burley tobacco with this set. But, I' do not miss all the work involved with growing tobacco though! Lot's of work and little return. Thanks for the comment, the appreciation and for stopping by. Always much appreciated!!
    3. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Roy,
      Thanks for the appreciation and for stopping by. I do appreciate it much!!
    4. btrue, 4 years ago
      Very cool! And so wonderful to know they are part of your family history!
    5. btrue, 4 years ago
      It's difficult to tell the size....would you mind posting dimensions?
    6. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 4 years ago
      What does the cone do ?
    7. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Thanks Thomas!!
      Yep, unfortunately there are a lot of empty tobacco warehouse that will never be used again.
    8. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      btrue,
      Thanks so much for the lovely comment! The handle of the tomahawk knife measures 19 1/2" long and the spear measures 7 1/2" long.
    9. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      BB2,
      A tobacco stick would have been shoved into the ground and the spear placed on the top of the stick so that you could spear the tobacco stalks onto the tobacco stick, after cutting the tobacco stalk with the tomahawk knife. Typically 6 - 8 stalks would have been speared onto the tobacco stick.
      https://i.ytimg.com/vi/YhshbS1xQv8/maxresdefault.jpg
    10. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Thanks very much for the appreciations and for stopping by

      Bonnie

      BB2

      btrue

      and

      Thomas

      All very much appreciated!!
    11. shareurpassion shareurpassion, 4 years ago
      So awesome to have an heirloom and legacy that goes far far back like that. I used to work for a tobacco wholesale distributer and yes, so much changed in the 80's and cigt sales dropped just from the big money loss when the jails here adopted the "no smoking" law...we lost tons of money.
    12. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      shareurpassion,
      Thanks so much for the wonderful comment and love. Yes, a lot of the farmers here started growing 100's, even 100's, of acres of corn and soybean to replace their tobacco crops. Most of our cigarette tobacco is now imported (what a shame that is).
    13. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Thanks for the appreciations and for stopping by

      SEAN

      shareurpassion

      and

      miederman

      Always very genuinely appreciated!!
    14. fleafinder fleafinder, 4 years ago
      wow wow scott u impress again! such a cool heirloom that speak so richly of your family roots!
    15. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Thank you fleafinder!!
      These are very old and wonderful family heirlooms to pas on down thru my family. Very glad to have these. Thanks for the lovely comment, the love and for stopping by. Always greatly appreciated!!!
    16. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      fortapache,
      Thanks very much for the appreciation and for stopping by. Always very much appreciated!!
    17. fleafinder fleafinder, 4 years ago
      do remember to carve your family name on it! and write the date!
    18. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Phil,
      Thanks so much for the appreciation and for taking time to stop by. Always very much appreciated!!!
    19. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Thanks for the appreciations and for stopping by

      Pops

      and

      vetraio50

      Always very greatly appreciated!!!!
    20. Recordmantime, 4 years ago
      This is just great Scott,.. I was talking to my wife about trying to get some Tobacco seeds this spring to grow some up here in the north east ...any advice ?...smiling
      Back in the day people would grow there own ...Then I told her Most likely they wont sell any seeds here in the states ...? Would love to hear you input...
    21. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Recordmantime,
      Burley (cigarette making tobacco) seeds can be acquired at your local farm supply stores in early spring. Around late march or early April they're started in a bed (much like lettuce) and when the plants get to be about 8" tall, then the plants are transplanted, usually in the month of May. As they're growing, they need to be fertilized and all of the suckers (or stray sprouts) pulled off the plants. The pink flowering tops need to be removed as well. When the plant turns yellow, usually in August, it's time to cut it, hang it in a barn and cure it. Once cured, you can strip the leaves and you're done! Hope this helps!
    22. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Thanks for the appreciations and for stopping by

      Mike

      and

      Recordmantime (also for the comment)

      Always greatly appreciated!!!
    23. Recordmantime, 4 years ago
      Scott thank you for the great info ...I'll be looking forward to next spring.. '-)). I'll see if I can find a book or two to read up on it some more ...thanks agian ..Gary
    24. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Gary,
      Very happy to help! Let us know how it works out for you. We grew several acres of tobacco for many years. It's a lot of work for little return. I definitely do not miss working in tobacco!!
    25. vintagelamp vintagelamp, 4 years ago
      This brought back memories of watching my relatives in Georgia cutting and hanging tobacco. Thank you!
    26. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 4 years ago
      I don't remember any relatives who had that much energy !
    27. vintagelamp vintagelamp, 4 years ago
      blunder, A FEW of mine did...
    28. TassieDevil TassieDevil, 4 years ago
      Well!! how interesting is all that Scott.....enjoyed reading, and love the terrific family pieces, very special!
    29. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 4 years ago
      So Scott. People actually went out into tobacco fields, even just a acre, with this stick with a razor blade on it to cut off all those leaves ?!! No wonder cigs. cost so much !! LOL !!
    30. bobby725 bobby725, 4 years ago
      Always learning something new on this site! Thanks for the history lesson Scott!! Very cool!
    31. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      vintagelamp,
      Glad you like it. If your relatives are like me, they do miss growing tobacco either! Thanks for the love and for stopping by. Always appreciated!!!
    32. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      BB2,
      They actually cut the entire plants, hung the sticks of plants in the barn to cure and stripped the leaves. Tobacco usually sold for $1.50 to $2.oo per per pound at the market. The cigarettes are actually cheap. It's the government taxes that make the prices so expensive.
    33. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Judy,
      Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for the comment, the love and for stopping by. Always very much appreciated!!
    34. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Rob,
      Tobacco farming is a BIG part of the Kentucky heritage. Glad you enjoyed the post. Thanks for the appreciation and for stopping by. Always appreciated my friend!!
    35. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Karen,
      Thanks so much for the love and for stopping by. Always so very much appreciated!!
    36. NevadaBlades, 4 years ago
      An invaluable and significant artifact of an important period in American history, Scott. Like the others, I too enjoyed your immensely informative and educational post. Thanks for sharing your wonderful heritage! I agree with you, though, and take your side in not missing working out in the tobacco fields. The work must have been extremely labor-intensive! [;>)
    37. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      NevadaBlades,
      Thanks friend!! Yes, the work was very labor intensive. I have 7 sisters and 2 brothers. So, all 10 of us worked in the tobacco in some form or fashion when I was growing up. Thanks for the appreciation and for stopping by. Always appreciated!!!
    38. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Thanks for the appreciations and for stopping by

      Mike

      and

      Rick

      Both very much appreciated!!
    39. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      kivatinitz,
      Thanks so much for the love and for stopping by. I do appreciate it very much!
    40. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 4 years ago
      Just be glad you didn't have cotton fields ! LOL !!
    41. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Yep BB2,
      Thank goodness we didn't have cotton fields. But, we did have bell pepper fields along with the tobacco. We only had 3 acres of bell peppers each year and that was plenty enough for me! The bell pepper picking was absolutely back breaking labor and VERY little return! So, I can't even imagine picking cotton!
    42. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 4 years ago
      I can't either Scott. I've only watched ! LMFAO !!!
    43. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Bensallright,
      Thanks so much for the appreciation and for stopping by. I do appreciate it very much!
    44. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      ho2culcha,
      Thanks so much for the love and for stopping by. Always very much appreciated!!!
    45. nutsabotas6 nutsabotas6, 4 years ago
      This reminds me of the times, I spent in Russell Springs, Kentucky, helping my relatives strip tobacco. Getting my hands all sticky, but I enjoyed being with the family. :)
    46. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Ken,
      Russell Springs is a great town! Hope you took some time to visit Lake Cumberland while there. I must say that I don't miss the tobacco gum. I think that;s why Lava soap was invented:)
    47. nutsabotas6 nutsabotas6, 4 years ago
      Hi Scott, we rented a cottage near the lake, but spent most of the time, being with our Aunts, Uncles and Cousins. They were the most kind and hospitable people I ever met...I didn't want to leave. :)
    48. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      Ken,
      Yes, it's beautiful country side populated with wonderful folks.
    49. jscott0363 jscott0363, 4 years ago
      buckethead,
      Thanks very much for the appreciation and for taking time to stop by. Always appreciated!!
    50. GaryLee, 2 years ago
      No doubt about being a tomahawk and spear. Doubt it was your great-grandfathers though. I was born on a Ky tobacco farm in 1947. I have cut a lot of tobacco, as did my father, grandfather, great grandfather, & great great grandfather. Tomahawks and spears weren't used much till the 1920s or 1930s. Before then tobacco was cut with a T-handle splitting knife, then the knife was used to split the stalk from the top to almost the bottom then placed on a stick, no spear was used, a very slow process. Also a typical tomahawk would not last that long, 4 generations, the handle always wears out where the blade is riveted to the handle, generally a tomahawk handle will need to be replaced after 2-3 seasons, even a hickory handle. Also the blade doesn't show much sharpening, the blade was typically just thin steel, I have made a lot of tomahawk blades from old saw blades. I would think that after 4 generations of use it wouldn't be much more than a sliver from being sharpened. And, the spear looks like it could have been made in the 70's or 80's, the base looks like it was "squared plus the base circumference looks larger than on older spears I have seen and used.

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