The axe may well have been the first tool humans ever developed. Examples have been found that were made by Homo Habilis in the lower Paleolithic era, meaning that axes have been around longer than modern humans.
Various religious orders throughout history have used axes as symbols.. They have also been used as symbols of military power and authority (see the Roman fasces). These factors have lead to axes having a place in a lot of folklore, as well as other more modern forms of mass media.
I had a couple of axes that were in pretty sorry shape. I'm not really sure where I got one of them, and I got the other (the double bladed one) at a garage sale for the princely sum of $2.
I soaked the heads in old motor oil (I'd just changed the oil in my car) overnight to soften up the rust. After that I used a drill-mounted wire brush and orbital sander to clear the rust off.
I then sharpened the heads with an angle grinder and belt sander, and applied a few coats of paint.
After repeating the process on the double bladed axe, I now have two perfectly good axes.
It could be argued that I may have been better off just buying a couple of new axes and calling it a day. It certainly would've saved me a bit of time. None the less, I'm glad I did this. I get tired of how disposable things are. It felt good to take "worthless junk" and make it into a good, useful tool.