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Yesterday, On ABC Wednesday, I showed some pictures of my Estwing hammer.
I don't know if this is officially a Vintage Thingie, because Estwing still makes hammers almost identical to this one, but let me share some of the history of this hammer, and then, if Suzanne wants to kick me out of Vintage Thingie Thursday, I'll understand.
First of all, it is important to note that Estwing started making hammers in 1926. That Estwing hammers were made from one solid piece of steel, instead of the wooden handled hammers of the day. A solid constructed hammer never needed a new handle, it was stronger and more durable, but the one piece hammer also was not as shock absorbent. The wooden handles allowed some of the shock of impact to be absorbed, so Estwing developed a Leather, and later a nylon grip for their handles to make them more user-friendly.
This handle is nylon, but is green, unlike the blue handles produced today.
This particular hammer is the first one I ever used. It belonged to my father, and when I was 8 years old, and had to learn to use a hammer in cub scouts, this one is the one I learned how to hammer with. My dad had a larger heavier version of the Estwing Straight Claw hammer, and that was the one he used.
Dad always taught us to take care of our tools and to put them away when we were done with them.
Some 20 years later, my dad was working on a service project for the church. They were helping to shingle a church member's roof. My Dad got too close to the edge of the roof, he leaned back and put his hand out to support him, but there was nothing there and he fell off the roof. He landed face first, breaking his cheekbone, his shoulder and collarbone and a couple of other bones in his arm. This would have been hard enough on a young man, but he was in his 60's at the time.
As they were loading him in the ambulance, he said he couldn't go yet, he had left his hammer on the roof. Everyone told him that he had his hammer with him when he fell, but he was adamant that he had left it on the roof. When we went to see him, at the hospital, he was still very concerned about his hammer, that it was out on the roof, and it was going to rain that night.
We explained that they had finished the roof, they had brought down all the tools, and that there were no hammers on the roof. His hammer had been in his hand when he fell. But he was so concerned that my brother promised to go back on the roof and check.
Sure enough, there, behind a chimney, where no one had seen it, was this hammer. He had taken both hammers with him, in case someone else needed one, and he had his bigger hammer in his hand, but the other had been on the roof.
The fact that he was so worried about his tools and that they be put away properly, even when he himself was seriously hurt, really represented my Dad's philosophy on life. You take care of the things you value, before you take care of yourself.
I'm not sure exactly when he got it, but like I said, he had it when I was 8 years old, so, This hammer is at least 35 years old. And although Estwing still makes a 16 oz straight claw hammer, similar to this one, this hammer is one of a kind.
It is nicked and scarred, and shows signs of use and hard work. It isn't shiny or flashy. But it is solid, dependable, and just as good today as the day it was built.
Every time I use it, I think of the things my Dad stood for, the things he taught me, and the things he tried, that never sank in. I like to think that each time, they sink in a little more, and although I lost my Dad almost five years ago now, His spirit is right there with me whenever I use his hammer.
Be sure and join me each Tuesday for Tuesday Trivia Tie-in, where readers are invited to share trivia and show off their treasures.