Hammers prove a fun hobby for Alba mayor
EAST SMITHFIELD - When it comes to collecting hammers, you might say that Dale Palmer of Alba hits the nail on the head.
Palmer, the mayor of Alba, was one of the several exhibitors at the Bradford County Old Timers Association's 49th annual show, which was held this weekend in East Smithfield.
During the show, I was surprised to learn that he has around 1,500 hammers that he has collected over the past 20-plus years. His hammer collection is well-known in the area.
It's quite a sight to behold.
His hammers come in all sizes, from tiny toy ones only inches long to large, heavy sledgehammers.
"I like all different kinds," he said. "It's just a hobby."
And his quest for hammers is never-ending.
A sign on his display reads, "If you have a unique and interesting hammer that you don't see here, we need to talk!" He noted that a lot are just given to him by people who want others to see their hammers.
Palmer's hammers can be pretty unique, such as double-clawed and triple-clawed ones. He showed one that was in the shape of a goat's head.
According to Palmer, these were put in bags of Gold Medal Flour in the early 1900's as a promotion. He explained that the idea was that these hammers were meant for "the lady of the house," since the husband usually "stole her hammer."
Palmer noted that companies would put their names on hammers as an advertisement. He has one with "Clark Bars" written on it.
And that's not all.
"I've got one that says 'Kellogg's Corn Flakes' on it," he said with pride.
"Everything used to come in wooden boxes," Palmer explained, noting that the hammers could be used to open the boxes.
More than 20 years ago, he bought his first hammer at a flea market/car show in Carlisle. Being that his last name is Palmer and Palmer was once a make of hammers, Palmer said he wanted a Palmer hammer. These days, you can find Palmer ball pien hammers for sale on eBay.
Palmer said he heard people saying, "he collects hammers," and "that's what got me started. Now, I've got 1,500."
Clyde Clark of Bentley Creek was visiting Palmer's display on Sunday.
"He's had them for a long time," Clark said. "He has a heck of a good collection."
He didn't have a favorite, however.
"I like to look at them all."
Palmer said to be sure to look for him at the upcoming Heritage Festival Sept. 15-16 at Alparon Park in Troy. For more information about the Heritage Festival, visit the festival website at http://paheritagefestival.org/
Do you have an idea for the Western Bradford Notebook? You can reach Eric Hrin at (570) 297-5251; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.