Friday, March 8, 2013

Firemans Axe, Chillington Arpax, Pro Pat 19242. 38

Firemans axe


Chillington Arpax,

On Handle "Pro Pat 19242. 38, Tested 20,000 Volts"

The "pro pat" mark dates this as pre dec 1939 (the date the patent was granted)


length 385mm

The rubber handle was tested to 20,000 volts and provided protection from accidentally cutting electric cables.

Later versions were issued to RAF aircraft and marked with air ministry marks (nothing like that on this one).

The Imperial War muesum has a histroy comment
Imperial War Muesum

"The 'ARPAX' was manufactured by the Chillington Tool Company Limited of Wolverhampton and is notable for its rubber handle, subject to a patent applied for in June 1938 and finally granted in December 1939. Being encased in a tough rubber, the handle was claimed to be less liable to catch fire or break than the traditional wooden types, and would also protect the user from potentially fatal shocks if he or she happened to accidentally cut through electric cables. To this end, moulded into the handle was the comforting phrase 'TESTED 20.000 VOLTS'. On the other side of the handle are details of the patent; earlier manufactures, such as this example, (presumably prior to December 1939 when the full patent was granted) bear the legend 'PRO PAT 19242 - 38', while later ones bear 'PATENT No. 515767'. There were three variants of the ARPAX - this is the the standard type."

A number of these axes have had the rubber cut back

This does show the solid shaft inside the handle. A suggested cause of this, is damage in use. The head misses the target and the target strikes the handle damaging the rubber. If damage was caused it would then be cut back to tidy it up. Nothing like a simple explanation.

Found this picture of the Chillington Tool Works Wolverhampton 1926. The link will take you to the original
Chillington tool works from "Britianfromabove"

This link gives a history of  Chillington Tool Works

Found an axe with a pouch and belt

The "H" has been missed from the Chillington name
 The number stamped over the back had been 113 and then over stamped 114
 There were at least 5 other numbers,  upside down 142 and another 1 and 0
 The letters L and G stamped on the inside of the hook
 Axe blade
 Tested 2000  Volts
 Pro Pat  9424  38
 The pouch is stitched leather
 A simple knob button to fasten shut
 Leather slot with hole to catch the knob
 Simple hoop construction at back to hold belt

Hoops riveted to pouch

There are different thicknesses of padding to support the hook and the blade in the pouch so that the handle hangs vertically.

Good heavy buckle




1 comment:

  1. I just acquired one of these, and its sitting at my house waiting for me to open the box! My friend traveled to Paris and saw it and bought it for me. I sell modern axes that we forge here in Rockford Illinois, so it is extra cool for me to have this ARPAX. Thank you for posting this!