Semi Off Topic: Bell System Hammer?

Greetings,
New to this group, though I've been 'lurking' for quite a while. I'm a
novice at blacksmithing and have been learning a lot reading your posts.
My apologies for making my first post kind of on a tangent, but I
thought you folks would be a good bet on finding an answer.
Today at a shop where I work part time I found a type of hammer I hadn't
seen before. It's a straight pien, about 2 to 3 pounds, with "Bell
System" stamped on one side. More unusual than that though is a 7/8th
inch hole through the head just behind the eye (vertically, or parallel
to the eye).
Scrounging around on line it looks like there were a lot of tools made
by Stanley for "Ma Bell" workers, hammers among them. But, no one seems
to have a definitive reason for the extra hole. There are a couple of
them for sale on ebay with some pretty good pictures.
Anyone familiar with these? What's that extra hole for?
Bert
Reply to
Bert Olton
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I have been told it was for straightening up the foot pegs on a telephone pole...don't know that for a fact but the hammer fits em just right!
Reply to
trahern
huh...makes sense. Thank you, sir.
I did wire wheel the hammer head today to see if there were any other markings, but there are not. Just the "Bell Systems" stamp on the one side.
First hammer I've ever seen with a pritchel hole in it!
Bert
Reply to
Bert Olton
You might try over on comp.dcom.telecom where a whole bunch of telecom old-timers hang out. (c.d.t is a moderated group. It will help the moderator if you append [telecom] , including the brackets, to your subject line.) There are people on that group who know (and have done) some really obscure Bell system stuff.
Oh, yes, and post your answer back here if you get one, plz, tnx.
FWIW,
Reply to
Mike Spencer
Thanks, Mike, I'll give it a shot.
Bert
Reply to
Bert Olton
greetings bert, i know what it is for, when climbing a new pole (one which has no spikes) you would use only one tool, that hammer. you would start the spike by driving part way in the pole. then then put that hole in the hammer over the up turned end of the spike and screw the spike the rest of the way in. i too have one of those hammers which was my favorite throughout my blacksmiths career. have fun, mark
Reply to
Mark Finn
Many thanks Mark!
Bert
Reply to
Bert Olton
Hello again, Mike. Though Mark seems to have answered the question, I'm still waiting to hear from the gang over at comp.dcom.telecom. As you pointed out, they're a moderated group, so it took a while before my question got posted. It may get ignored because of its simplicity (man, they really get in to some high tech stuff!), but I will post any reply from them here.
Bert
Reply to
Bert Olton
Oops. :)
Mark, you ain't a lineman are you? ;)
Yes the steps are screwed into the pole but a hole is drilled first.
We used a brace 'n' bit for drilling those holes (good for the belly muscles). Even with the hole drilled sometimes they were a bitch to screw in. The "hard head" screw for the cross arm braces would be hammered in about half way then screwed in the rest of the way.
Alvin in AZ
Reply to
alvinj
no, i don't know where i picked that scrap of info. it is just one of those useless bits of information that comes with 50 years of hitting hot steel. have fun, mark
Reply to
Mark Finn

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