Objects, Collections & Tools
:: The Hammer Page
are the most basic tool in the box, for all around geeking (and
actual work) A hammer and an anvil are the two basic units of production,
enabling even the most novice of us to destroy perfectly good materials
in short order.
have been around for a long time- probably even before anvils. We're
talking like antiquity here, going back to ealry recorded history,
Iron Age, Bronze Age for example. Tools.... basic stuff. I suppose
before early man figured out how to convert iron ore he was using
a rock held in his hands, then a rock tied to a stick. It could
only improve from there...
three speicmens shown are all from Stanley Tool Works, New Britain
CT, made (and marked ) for Bell System. Some of these are still
being made today- two of these three are interesting because they
have the 'hole in the head' pattern, which actually made them a
we called 'Stepping Hammers' by the Bell System, since they were
sized to correspond to the distance between the climbing spikes
(steps) driven and then screwed into telephone poles. The hole slipped
over the bent end of the spike and the handle length provided leverage
to thread the screw into the pole. Handy thought, but now it's all
obsolete, since climbing poles was risky business, much less having
to hammer in your own steps as you went up. Bucket lifts sent these
and a lot of other tools out of action.
hammers are distinctive for their massive proportion- the straight
claw electricians pattern hammer weighs 2 lbs, maiking it a highly
functional hammer for rough framing jobs. The cross peen (3 lb)
and straight peen (4 lb) hammers are very functional also. All have
been fitted with replacement handles more correctly suited to their
weight. The original handle configuration was appreciably shorter,
having been engineered by Bell System to incorporate the step distance
and also the limited swing radius of a lineman strapped to a pole.
The 3 lb. cross peen receives it's weekly exercise at CC Cullet.
It was a 1999 vintage Found Object.
are three new specimens, of various origin. The two sledge hammers
show appreciable wear, having mushroomed faces. Try to imagine
how much hammering they received over their lifetime. New handles
fitted to all, with extra short one for the long nose sledge.
This unit rides on the back of the truck for incidental watch
repair and delicate surgery. The red and yellow unit was fished
out of the Goochland VA landfill and recycling bins. One of
the faithful over at Field Days brought in a truckload of junque
for the museum, and this unit was laying in the bottom of a
barrel, begging to see the light of day. I put the handle on
it and gave it to Dennis, who apparently used it in the Engine
Shed during the show. Thus do I feel vindicated.