Urbrock, William J. (ed.) / Transactions of the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters
volume 83 (1995)
Butler, J. D.
Copper tools found in the state of Wisconsin, pp. 18-23 PDF (1.9 MB)
COPPER TOOLS FOUND IN WISCONSIN dents apiece, and one with nine; indentations which have been fancied to indicate the number of beasts, or men, the weapons had killed. Nine spear-heads have round tangs which are so long, smooth and sharp, that they may well have been used as awls and gimlets. The blades of these nine spears swell in the middle of each side. Their shape is a beautiful oval. The largest specimen of this class is about a foot in length. In the middle of its blade there is a hole as large as a pipe-stem, which may have been drilled for putting in a cord to recover the spear when it had been thrown into the water. One spear has a unilateral barb. This, meeting with unequal resistance, will not go straight in water, so we think it of an absurd pattern. But the truth is that if aimed at a fish where he looks to be, it will hit him where he is—though, owing to the refraction of light in water, he is not where he looks to be. One barb is then better than two, and we are the fools after all. Spears of a similar pattern, though of other material have been exhumed in France and California, and are still used in Terra del Fuego. Specimens in bone from Santa Barbara may be seen in the Smithsonian exhibit. Thirteen spears have flat tangs to thrust into shafts. Six of these tangs are serrated or notched like the necks of flint weapons for binding about with sinews. They seem to mark the very point of transition from one material to another—from mineral to metal. There are fifteen knives. Most of these were intended to be stuck in handles, but one of them has a handle rolled out of the same piece of copper with its blade. Another has its copper handle bent into a hook. There are several gads, or wedges, to be driven. There are three adzes—tools beveled only on one side of their edges, and with broad sockets for handles. There are eleven chisels, some as heavy as those we now use. There are twelve axes, one weighing three and threequarter pounds in exactly the weight of those common among Wisconsin lumbermen to-day. Another, which is a pound heavier,, is the largest specimen of wrought copper that has even been brought to light. There is one hook, and a square rod. There are more than half a dozen borers of various sizes. One may be called an auger, being sixteen inches long and three in circumference. There is a dagger ten inches long with a blade an inch wide. These, with various anomalous articles, complete the catalogue. For the conservation and display of this unique copper treasure the State of Wisconsin has set apart one of the towers of the Capitol in Madison. There they will be daily open for inspection, and will no doubt be a magnet attracting to themselves other curiosities of like nature. 19
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