Plumb Claw Hammers were noteworthy for their quality and durability.
My primary research resources for Plumb hammers consisted of catalogs and magazine ads from this period.
Although I did use Plumb hammers, I primarily used Stanley Nail Hammers during my apprenticeship. Go to my Stanley Nail Hammers page for information relating to them.
I used Carpenter's nail claw hammers -- with their typically pronounced curved claws -- almost exclusively rather than ripping claw hammers with their shallow claw curvature. It is nail claw hammers that are discussed on this page.
The Fayette R. Plumb Co. advertised its hammers, axes and hatchets aggressively with colorful, high quality ads. in numerous major national magazines throughout the 1920s & 193os. These ads. frequently highlighted the red mahogany stained hickory handles and black heads that distinctively identified their products.
Fayette R. Plumb and the companies he controlled had a rich history from 1869 until somewhere between 1959 and 1971 when the Fayette R. Plumb Co. was sold and ceased to exist. That history is well documented on this nicely illustrated Web Page by YesterYears Tools.
Of course, the Fayette R. Plumb Co. also produced various other types of hammers, sledges, hatchets and axes of the highest quality, the latter being much favored by professional axe men for competition events. Specially made hatchets were used by Boy Scouts throughout the world.
Fayette R. Plumb Co. Claw Hammers were marked PLUMB within a rectangle stamped on one of the head cheeks:
The stamping was sometimes accompanied by the hammer weight in ounces or USA etc. outside the rectangle. A great variety of colorful decals were affixed to the handles but these quickly wore off in normal hammer use.
The much admired and distinctive red mahogany stained hickory handles ..........
.......... sometimes broke under heavy usage and it is not unusual to find vintage hammers with replacement handles.
The Fayette R. Plumb Co. was patriotic in the way they decorated many of their products. A famous marking is the VICTORY stamping on the cheeks of some hammers -- accompanying the PLUMB stamp within the rectangle -- supposedly to commemorate the end of WWII.
I have not been able to verify this story to date. The finish on the specimens I have examined -- including the one I own -- is not up to the usual PLUMB high standard. It is possible these hammers were manufactured in 1944-1945 in anticipation of the coming victory, however, that is just speculation.
The tools I depict on my web pages are mostly the type and vintage I was familiar with during my apprenticeship as a truck cab and body builder at the firm of Oswald Tillotson, Burnley, Lancashire, from (circa) 1947 to 1950 -- tools well used that reflect good care and attention. I derive great satisfaction from using tools that still function well after the passage of many years. I greatly admire the patina on old tools - the wood and metal surfaces that have grown lovely through long time handling and use.
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