I'm no expert, but www.grivel.com says: "In The years between the two world wars saw an advance in the technical use of crampons, reducing the length and weight of the ice-axes without making great changes in their design.
The end of the 2nd. world war witnessed an increased interest in alpinism. Tools became shorter, lighter, and offered a better performance whilst maintaining traditional design, up until the middle of the 1960's. Questions of safety and technical ability became partially separated.
Discussions on norms of safety were initiated by OAV -Kosmath in the 1960's and continued by DAV - Schubert in the 60's and 70's. Agreement on the norms was only achieved in 1978 by the Safety Commission UIAA. These discussions prompted the adoption of metal alloy for shafts instead of the traditional wood, initially by CAMP in Europe and Forrest in the USA.
Technically a more aggressive and curved pick was called for. But it wasn't easy as Yvon Chouinard (Climbing Ice) tells that in 1966 "it took the intervention of Donald Snell to convince the very reluctant and conservative Charlet factory to make a 55cms. axe with a curved pick for the crazy American. In those days a 55cm. axe was crazy enough - but a curved pick!" The idea was right and successful. The Scots made it even more bent but shorter and straight, due to their specific needs though it was really hard on knuckles (maybe this is where the name Pterodactyl comes from).
At the beginning of the 1970's the concept of "piolet traction" became increasingly popular and later in 1975 the American Forrest (Mjollnr) and the Frenchman Simond Chacal (creator of the modular blade) fathered the idea of changing the tip's curve creating the "banana" blades that we still use today. In 1976 Lowe proposed the tubular blade which, with ups and downs, is still the source of debate between supporters and critics. At the beginning of the 1980's modular tools gained the upper hand (Simond, Grivel, Stubai, Lowe). A few years later the first light alloy modular heads were introduced (Charlet) and in 1986, first Grivel and then Charlet proposed an old English idea (EBOC), the ergonomic or curved handle. The following revolution is modern history and can be seen in shop windows." If in fact "In the late 1940s Riccardo designed them modern ice axe as we know it," is the Grivel factory deliberately snubbing him?