Maydole woodworking hammers

Last updated: 3 August 2019


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A BRIEF HISTORICAL SURVEY

According to most accounts I have read, David Maydole was a blacksmith in Norwich, New York, in the early 1840s. He is widely credited (but not by all researchers) with inventing the "adz eye" method of securely affixing the hammer head to the handle purportedly to solve the vexing tendency of the heads to "fly off" the handle after a period of use. (Note: the actual effect might have been to reduce the tendancy of the head to work loose due to the frequent use of the claw for pulling nails).

He subsequently built a factory to exclusively manufacture hammers as The David Maydole Hammer Company on the banks of the Chenango Canal in Norwich circa. 1843. The family owned business prospered mainly due to Maydole's "adz eye" head attachment methodology and a reputation for producing hammers of high quality and superior finish.

US Patent: 186,588 - Manufacture of Hammers - Forging Adz-Eye Claw-Hammers
David Maydole patent, granted Jan 23, 1877

David Maydole died in 1892 and by that time his family claimed the factory was the largest producer of hammers in the United States with over 100 employees. The firm continued to be family owned and operated until 1931, when it was reorganized as the Maydole Tool Company. It was purchased by Mayhew Tools of Shelburne Falls, Massachusetts as Mayhew-Maydole in 1939. Mayhew continued to market Maydole hammers (so marked) until 1957 when a devastating fire destroyed the factory.


THE MAYDOLE HAMMERS 1919 CATALOG (PDF) - Reference Document.


HAMMER HEAD STAMPINGS

My compilation is mostly based on catalog listings and printed Ads.

circa 1843 until circa 1900?
D. MAYDOLE
NORWICH N. Y.
CAST STEEL

circa 1900 until mid 1920s
D. MAYDOLE
CAST STEEL

circa mid 1920s until 1939
D. MAYDOLE
MADE IN U.S.A.

1940 until 1957
MAYDOLE
(Block Capital letters or Script)

Note: The head stamping is often weakly struck and sometimes becomes barely visible, or even indiscernible, with the passage of time, cleaning and use.


EXAMPLE HAMMERS

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ADZ EYE NAIL HAMMER - Straight Claw, Bell Face
No. 711½, 16 ounces, page 15 of above PDF

(used very little, original handle)

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Original handle with factory label

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D. MAYDOLE
CAST STEEL

Head stamp

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711½ Maydole catalog model number stamp on end of handle


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ADZ EYE NAIL HAMMER - Straight Claw, Bell Face
No. 711½, 16 ounces, page 15 of above PDF

(well used, original handle)

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Original handle but without factory label

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D. MAYDOLE
Head stamp
Note: there is only partial, extremely faint and indiscernible second line lettering

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711½ Maydole catalog model number stamp on end of handle


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ADZ EYE NAIL HAMMER - Round Face
No. 2, 13 ounces, page 13 of above PDF

(well used)

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D.   MAYDOLE
CAST STEEL

Head stamp

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D.   MAYDOLE
CAST STEEL

Enlarged head stamp


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ADZ EYE NAIL HAMMER - Bell Face
No. 12½, 10 ounces, page 13 of above PDF

(well used)

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D.   MAYDOLE
MADE IN U.S.A

Head stamp


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