Archaeologists have discovered dozens of flint axes at Stonehenge. They believe the ancient monument's builders used the axes to carve wooden levers and rollers to move the huge pillars.
In 1541 the axe dealt the Countess of Salisbury a not so swift end. She reportedly leapt up from the block and was chased by her executioner, who struck eleven times before she died.
In 1926 on the 50th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, soldiers and Indians buried the hatchet. White Bull, a warrior at the battle, buried his tomahawk with a cavalryman whose body had recently been discovered.
One of the largest axe companies of the 19th century, the Collins Axe Company of Canton, Connecticut, produced about 500 axes daily. Its tools split wood during the California gold rush, cleared a path for the Panama Canal; and joined Robert Peary at the North Pole.
Narrator: Forged from high quality steel or chipped from solid rock, a weapon that blasted through shields and cut through armor, a multipurpose tool that laid down forests and hewed the lumber that built the American dream, the lifesaving device always kept close at hand. Probe the secrets of this deceptively simple device. Now the untold story of Axes, on Modern Marvels.