Designed to let the user switch from the lower to the upper set of claws partway through pulling a nail, the four-clawed Crusader hammer minimized bending — a useful feature in an age when thrifty carpenters routinely straightened and reused salvaged nails.
Designed to let the user switch from the lower to the upper set of claws partway through pulling a nail, the four-clawed Crusader hammer minimized bending — a useful feature in an age when thrifty carpenters routinely straightened and reused salvaged nails.

Most carpenters still carry a hammer on their toolbelt. But even those who pound a nail the old way once in a while would probably admit, if pressed, that hammers are beginning to seem sort of, well, last century.

In fact, hammers have been museum pieces since the first year of the 21st century, when an Alaska longshoreman and former shipwright, carpenter, and blacksmith named Dave Pahl opened what's thought to be the world's only museum dedicated exclusively to hammers.

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