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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)


Page 19

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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