I don't have any literature on the early ones with cast ways. Don't know if they were hard or not, but if I had to guess, based on Axelson's pride in cutting no corners I'd imagine they were hardened somehow.
The post war lathes had toolsteel insert ways. You can tell by looking at the tailstock end where you can see how they're keyed into the bed.
Simple way of determining if the ways are harden. Take a flat file and try to run the flle across the top of the ways at the tailstock end of the bed. If it takes a bite and cuts like soft butter, they are not harden. If the file skips and slides across the ways they are harden. Can't get any simpler than that. Ken