Wednesday, July 3, 2013

My Latest Greatest Tool Find

Recently I had the good fortune of discovering the Troy Antique Mall in Troy, NC, and I was charmed by the hospitality extended to me by the store's owners, Sibyl and Marty Williams.  They were friendly without going overboard, attentive without hovering, and oh so accommodating of my requests to open display after display so that I could drool over the treasures hidden within.

It's my very own World War II Era Metal Stamping Kit

During my visit, I managed to collect quite a few post cards, a vintage tin with textured graphics, and a dime dispenser for Ken.  Then, on my final walk-through, I spotted this beauty in "Case #6".  I was drawn to it like a moth to a flame.  I knew that I had to make it mine.

An Outside View

When I first took the mallet out of the case, my reflex was to test the weight and balance in my hand with a mock striking motion.  I didn't even realize that I'd done it until I'd replaced it, and Sibyl said, "It looks like you've done this before!" 

I hope to become a regular visitor at  The Antique Mall.  I can't imagine passing through Troy again without stopping.  And as for this set, it's found a new home and place of honor in my studio. I'll treasure it for a lifetime, and I've already begun to dream about a new jewelry collection inspired by its history. 

This kit includes individual stamps of the full alphabet,
a mallet, the case, and a specialized anvil.
One side of the anvil was used for
marking spoons, forks, and knives
from the mess kits.
The other side of the anvil was used
for marking meat cans. 
After WWI, dog tags were
no longer hand stamped as the
process was automated.

The letters and random words stamped into the wood
add to the appeal of these tools for me.

The first three letters stamped with my new set.
A nod to my Dad who enlisted in the army
during World War II when he was 17 years old.

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