C. Hammond Hammers


C. Hammond Catalog, 1910. Courtesy of Gary Roberts, who runs the website, toolemera, which has tons of other fascinating trade catalogs, mainly woodworking,  he has scanned from his personal collection.

Bexx Caswell, a recent NBSS grad,  noticed that the Edith Diehl hammer I wrote about earlier is actually a blank book hammer.  Bexx also also saw a similar hammer at Campbell-Logan Bindery in Minneapolis. The basic form descended from the French cobblers hammer I wrote about, but it is great to be able to trace its linage more precisely. The Diehl hammer that I own has some additional stamps (under the line that reads “PHLIA” it is stamped “CAST STEEL”) which leads me to think it is earlier than the one pictured in this catalog, since advertising cast steel is commonly more of a 19th century convention.

It is instructive to note that there were specialized hammers for Stationary Binders verses Bookbinders.  The large, long peen may have been useful when forming the extreme arch many blank book spines have.  Currently, most binders get by with one hammer, which mirrors the general decline in the diversity of specialized hand tools which continues to this day. Nineteenth century bookbinders also had specific hammer shapes for rounding, backing and, of course, beating.

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