Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Vintage Thingie Thursday

It's Thursday and time for a Vintage Thingie Thursday.

Be sure and visit The Coloradolady to see all the Vintage Thingies that people have show off, and then add your own!

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.

Read all about it here


  1. Troy great post about a hammer and I vote for I think you are safe from expulsion.

  2. My dad passed away 5 yrs ago in May- it was my folk's wedding anniversary. I have so many good memories of him, and I am sure you do of your own dad - evidenced by this neat story! Since it is stored in your "files", you can relate it to your kids someday - and the lessons you learned about care of tools!!!

  3. What a wonderful story and memory! I think you're in! Vintage for sure.

  4. Old enough to be vintage and a treasure to have because of the memories. Great story!

  5. Lovely story about your dad. I still miss mine. Hold onto your memories and anything that reminds you of your dad.

  6. That's a great story about your Dad, and it was interesting to learn about Estwing hammers too.

  7. Very informative and interesting post, Troy. Great story about your dad. I enjoyed reading about your hammer, and, you know, it made me go look at the hammer we inherited from my husband's dad--not an Estwing but it shares a lot of the same characteristics. We both pick up that hammer over any other because its weight just feels perfect, solid, and balanced in your hand.

  8. You did a wonderful job on the research of that hammer. I truly enjoyed reading it as I have seen those hammers back when. You hammer may not be vintage but the story was.

  9. She can so NOT kick you out!! Vintage at it's best here....lovely memories and what an incredible man of character your Dad got some of it too, it shows.

  10. Can't beat that lol!! Now I am so doubtful to use hammers that is made "somewhere", I have seen hammers head flew and that scares me lol!! That is a piece to keep.

    VTT~Old cameras

  11. I loved reading your story. Vintage things are so dear because of their history and esp. if you are connected to the history. Do you have someone to pass this treasure on to that will take good care of it and treasure it. I hope so. Linda

  12. I loved your father was my hero also, back then,fathers were heros and role models. I still miss my dad and I know you miss yours.. I do think you have a lot of your dear fathers shows in your writing. Happy VTT..

  13. Your story gave me chills. Your poor dad with those injuries. Glad to hear you have such wonderful memories of him. Thanks for sharing.

  14. Troy, what a great post! And I really enjoyed seeing these hammers. I have one that belonged to my grandma/grandpa. My grandma kept it in the drawer of her kitchen. We used to go to the corner store and buy a box of caps that were for cap guns....and instead of feeding them in the gun, we popped them on the sidewalk with that hammer....I can almost smell them now...funny how certain things bring such a memory! I really felt bad for your dad, and worrying over his tools! Have a great weekend.

  15. Solid and dependable...great it hammer or man...I see you didn't get kicked out of VTT:)

  16. Amazing story! And the hammer may well be vintage, but it has a whole lot more life left! Should last another couple of generations of hammering...
    Peace, Stephanie