Sunday, November 15, 2015

U.S. Forest Service Pulaski, FSS, Woodings Verona Took Works, circa 1980's-1997

Here is another interesting field tool that I've had banging around the bunker for a few years.  It is a U.S Forest Service, Pulaski, Firefighting tool.


I picked this particular Pulaski up at a local yard sale a few years ago and just recently got around to cleaning it up.  I didn't do much to it other than clean up the wood handle and give it a good coat of oil and clean some old mud off of the head.

These Pulaski tools were originally designed by Ed Pulaski, an Assistant Ranger with the U.S. Forest Service, back in 1911.  After a near tragic firefighting accident in Idaho, in 1910, where 45 firefighters almost perished, Ed Pulaski realized that there was the need for newer and better designed firefighting tools and equipment.  The Pulaski Tool was his design. The Pulaski began to be put into service in 1913.  In 1920, the U.S. Forest Service began contracting to have the tool commercially produced. By the 1930's, the Pulaski became a nationally issued firefighting tool.  It is still produced and used widely for wildland firefighting, on the national and regional levels.

The Pulaski that I have is marked FSS, which stands for the Federal Supply Service.  The FSS is the U.S. Government's supply agency, and the source for the U.S. Forest Service's equipment and specifications.


Next to the FSS stamp is the trademark stamp for the Woodings Verona Tool Works.

 This is the company that manufactured this particular tool.  Woodings Verona Tool Works was bought out in 1997 and ceased production of tools at that time.  The Pulaski I have dates from some time in the 1980's time period, up to 1997.

According to the FSS specifications, the handle is to be made of hickory, the head painted black that extends a short distance onto the wood, the FFS and manufacturer's logo are to be imprinted no more that 1/4 inch high, and the head wedged onto the wooden handle with a polymer wedge.  This Pulaski definitely meets those spec's!

These FSS Pulaski's were (and are) used by many other U.S. Federal departments than just the U.S. Forest Service.  These tools can often be found on vehicles used by the Bureau of Land Management, Border Patrol, Department of the Interior, National Park Service, and any number of other State and Federal Departments.

This Pulaski Tool is a wonderful addition to my vintage military and firefighting tool collection.











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