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L. & I. J. White


   
 

Scandinavian Hand Tools with Kim Malmberg


 
 

Oh, please make your mind up, Mr. Berg! by Kim Malmberg

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It was one of those late workshop evenings. The house was silent, I should have been fast asleep in my bed, but I was enjoying the moment and was rummaging around for a suitable cutter for an ongoing project.

I had been experimenting with adding thick vintage cutters to metal hand planes, and I was particularly looking for a 2 inch Erik Anton Berg cutter of good length. It turned out I had several so I started comparing them.

Some of you might remember a piece I wrote on this site of the Erik Anton Berg logotype. If you do, you will remember that I wrote that the company logo which most people know as a shark actually started out as a fish.

Well, it turns out that Berg has used several logotypes including fish of some sort. So for those who care, here's the revelation I made that late night in my workshop.

The Erik Anton Berg Mfg Co used at least four different depictions of fish for their logotype. Another fifth logotype (the scripted ďBergĒ logo) with no fish involved was used concurrently with the shark logo.

Bare with me. I shall explain.

Going through my old plane cutters I happened to notice that a few of them had especially well made stamps, outlining every detail of the logotype. And there was a striking difference between some of them.

These two variations we already knew about.

The Shark. Very much so, and very clearly outlined. Even the teeth are there.

The Wels catfish. Or thatís debatable. I have derived the name from the Swedish word ďmalĒ which ought to translate to a sort of catfish. But, hey, Iím no ichtyologist, so I canít say. But this logotype is what I call the three tail logotype. The stamp isnít very well struck, but this is clearly not a shark. More evidence to follow.

Looks like a shark, right? Agreed. But. Look at how the end tail is shaped. Both end fins are curved downwards. This same logo appears on several of my Berg tools. The mouth is clearly contoured, but there are no teeth. Also the fins are shaped differently. I call this one the double tail.

So, whatís this then? Doesnít look like a shark, doesnít look like that other sea creature Iíve called a catfish, does it? Look at the area around the mouth and the tail. The tail is splayed out, there are no aggressive shark fins, but it doesnít match any other logos either. This one I call splayed out tail.


 
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