Samuel Revill's hammer

Contributed by Robert Walters

Samuel Revill's hammer

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Samuel Revill (1847-1932) was a bootmaker from Sturton by Stow, near Lincoln. His hammer has the iron head and ash shaft of a standard cobbler's hammer. What makes it significant is the way that continual daily use over many years has worn the shaft into the exact shape of Samuel Revill's palm. The riding boots he made were much sort after and Samuel could have set up on his own account in Lincoln. But he would not leave his beloved Sturton. Nor apparently would he replace the handle of his hammer - which has an old deep split running its entire length. It is difficult to the think yourself into his admittedly somewhat narrow mindset. Sitting crossed-legged on his workbench, the hammer must have become almost an extention of his hand, perfectly adapted for those countlessly repeated taps and strikes. To me my great grandfather's hammer signifies an 'at oneness' with his world that has almost vanished from ours, seemingly as our horizons expand and expand.

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  • 1 comment
  • 1. At 20:14 on 13 August 2010, Bob Burgess wrote:

    In the Abbeydale Hamlet museum in Sheffield are similarly worn hammers used for rivetting scythe blades. Even more interesting is the depression worn in the bench top where the workman placed his hammer between blades... As for the split, Irving Sloan, an american author on woodcraft states the case where a logger split his axe handle and carried on working for the rest of the week until he could replace it. It just shows what a craftsman can do with a tool that today's H&S legislation would class as unsafe or unfit for purpose.

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Head Sheffield; shaft local.


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