The History of the Hammer

The use of hammers dates as far back as 3.3 million years ago. Today the modern claw hammer is seen as a typical tool in both the construction industry and in the common house hold tool kit. It is hard to believe that the claw hammer style dates back to the 16th century.

The Hammer

Throughout the known past the hammer has been used by the most legendary of figures. Whether its biblical, historical or mythical hammers have been depicted as the tool of power for centuries.

Hammer Timeline

3.3 million years ago – The first incarnation of the hammer was born. Simplistic and made from stone these hammers were used to break and shape stones, bones and wood.

30,000 BC – Leather or sinew were used to add handles to the stone heads. The typical handle was made from either bone or wood. This allowed for more force to be put behind the stone before the impact.

3,000 BC – The shape of the hammer head was changed to make a holes in the stone so that the head could be seated over the handle. It was also around this time that the brass hammer head was created. Although not as strong as the stone, the new bronze hammer heads would dent with pressure instead of breaking like their stone counterparts.

1,500 BC – Hammers began to be used in smelting and forging of iron. This ultimately pathed the way to iron hammers. These were used in blacksmithing and introduced new head shapes such as the pein.

753 BC – The Roman Empire were the first to create the nailing hammer. This hammer used the familiar handle except the head was now flat on one end and forked at the other. This invention was due to the cost of nails being so expensive. Being able to remove and reuse nails became a fast returning investment.

Modern Hammer – The modern hammer has not changed much since the olden days the only difference is the material in which they are made from. Today’s hammers are made from steel with hard wood and some times composite handles for added durability. We have replaced bludgening hammers with solid sledge hammers and blacksmithing hammers have become smaller to be used in more intricute trades such as jewelry making.

More information

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