Probable upholsterer's tool, I believe....
Found at a sale, thought it was interesting.
Looks to be an upholsterer's tool, combo hammer and cloth stretcher...... but I could naturally be wrong.
Last edited by JST; 06-26-2012 at 10:05 PM.
I think you are right.... and it is the cutest one I have seen, just love the gracefulness of the hammer head to the rest of the tool.
On the other hand, it could be a wheel weight tool.
I have something similar; was told they are shoemakers pliers.
There's a sort of humorous saying on the OLDTOOLS mailing list that if you cannot identify a tool, then it's probably a leatherworker's tool ! If you are really interested in pinning it down, there's a book about leatherworker's tools: "Dictionary of Leather-Working Tools c.1700-1950 and the Tools of Allied Trades R. A. Salaman" Available from Astragal Press (now part of Chester Book Co.) Your librarian can probably borrow this on interlibrary loan.
I strongly agree with Rivett's sentiment that the tool is gracefully designed. Bet that wooden handle is a lot easier on the user's hand than an all-steel tool would be.
yeah, that nice form is what attracted me to it.....
Problem is, I never set out to "collect" tools, I generally buy what I can and will use..... Now I have two different upholsterer's pliers, and I have no intent to ever do any upholstery.
Thanks for the confirmation though.
"When in doubt it's probably a leatherworker's tool"........... sorta like "when in doubt about a class of artifacts found in an archaeological dig, they are game pieces if small, and ritual items if large"..........
Found something similar, but much uglier
I want to correct my guess.... I think they are shoemakers pliers..... I kind of thought that when it was mentioned above and then I got this from a friend who reads but doesn't post here...
"You know I lurk on the above website. I noticed a recent thread that posted a photo of a small pliers that some questioned if the pliers were used by upholsterers or shoemakers. The pliers are too small and narrow for traditional upholstery though I guess in a pinch anything is possible. They are what are known in the cobblers trade as "lasting pliers" used by shoemakers who actually handmade shoes to stretch leather over the wood last. Once stretched the leather was then held tight against the last and tacked to the last using the hammer head side of the pliers. The process is repeated inch by inch as the shoemaker goes around the last. It is done surprisingly fast. There used to be a shoemaker near my apartment in NYC, who holding his tacks in his mouth, like an upholsterer, moved with surprisingly unerring speed. I used to watch him do his craft. When the shoemaker died, I noticed a dumpster one day poled high full of thousands of numbered lasts each custom carved for a specific customer many with added glued leather corrective curves that I assumed reflected changes in the shape of his customers feet over the years. I salvage a few for old times sake as tokens of days gone by but eventually threw them out. Not like saving a rare speed indicator."
"Just for fun I tried a Google search: A Rose by any other name ..... It seems many men tried to make their fortune in the 19th century by trying to make a better "lasting" tools, ie: pliers, pinchers, levers, hammers, or whatever you called them they seem to do pretty close to the same things. Below are 101.
Just like the men who tried to make better mouse traps or better barb wires, etc. etc."
lasting tool* - Google Search
It would make a very novel nut cracker, you could either crack them with the jaws or bash them open on the table with the hammer portion. Or one could use them on a nice fresh lobster, haven't eaten yet can you tell?
Your friend may know old tools well..... but I would not be so hide-bound about them being shoemaker's tools only (pun intentional).
These, while they are narrow, are as wide as the Utica 1100 pliers which were specifically made for upholsterers. And these were used in teh upholsterer's trade, since they were found with other upholsterer's tools, materials etc, including odd curved rulers which were way too long for any shoe purpose,
That said, there appears to be a potential crossover between the two applications. webbing is narrow and needs to be pulled pretty tight.
Google Image Result for http://myweb.cableone.net/laurammi/nail/0087-89.jpg
They do look a lot like shoe maker's pliers with a home made wooden handle slipped over one iron handle.
The "hammer" part is different from the usual pattern I've seen a hundred times,though. It still seems to be able to do the same function as it isn't taller or shorter than the usual style hammer.
Also,the usual style hammer is square on the end,not rounded as this one is. From looking at the pictures,I do not think it was user modified. You can make out the line left by the forging die.
GWilson has raised an interesting question: Does the wooden handle seem to be a "field modification", or does it look like an original feature of the tool?
I could just imagine a fellow working all day producing shoes, possibly in a factory rather than a cordwainer's shop, altering his lasting tool to be easier on the hand. Just as easily, I could imagine someone making and selling lasting tools with an "ergonometric" wooden handle. Either way, the sore-handed shoemakers says "Eureka" when he discovers that it is easier on the hand.
It really is a "lasting" tool - it's lasted longer than the demand for the trade for which it was made.
I could just imagine....
I think I need to pull on my wellies, the wistfull BS is getting pretty deep.
Wellington boot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The wood is almost surely original..... the upper "handle" is a thin round bar in the iron.... no way anyone with sense thought that was a good handle.
I'm going with "either" on the usage..... these are virtually the same width as the Utica 1100-7 pliers that are actually upholsterer's pliers, at least according to Utica Tools......
Its for sheet metal work.
Bending sheet metal.
For upholstery the stretching pliers are at least 1 1/2 inch wide, other wise the material is not evenly stretched.
I have seen one of those only once before.
Was watching "How It's Made" last night when they did a piece on lariats. The guy working the rope after it had been wound was using a tool that looks identical to that one, but without the wooden handle.
More from my friend Dan....
In looking at lasting tool patents I concluded that in the late 19th early 20th century the most prevalent terminology for the tool I wrote to you about was not lasting "pliers" but lasting "pinchers" so for kicks I made a Google image search for "lasting pinchers" and one can draw their own conclusion from what is seen - it used to be a picture is worth a thousand words - now a thousand pictures is worth a single conclusion.
lasting pincers - Google Search
Gee, yah might think that with that many "pitchers", there'd be one or two that actually LOOKED like these "plinchers"......... But there's about 40..... Thanks.
they do look like "lasting pinchers"..... even if I did GET them from among a lot of upholsterer's tools...... Perhaps re-purposed after the buggy whip business died out....
BTW... I am getting the idea that one characteristic of tool collectors is "persistence"....... keep following up until a conclusion is reached..... as with pliers vs "pinchers".
It's nice to see that your odd, old pinchers have lasted this long. I hope the pinchers have a home in your collection at long last.
They may even be "handy" in a "pinch"............................
Originally Posted by fciron
And Google changed "pincher" to "pincer," which is a related term. But the old patents in the pincer image search have the word pincher in the invention title.
Originally Posted by rivett608
I see a current catalog lists a "CS OSBORNE # 233 LASTING PINCER."
So the old name was lasting pincher, but it is hard to argue with the Osborne company about the current name. They have been making leather tools since 1826.
C.S. OSBORNE Pliers