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"Firstly, I fix my nail, and then with a blow of the hammer I send it a centimetre deep into the brain of the public; then I knock it in as far again and the hammer of which I make use is journalism." --Emile Zola

"The less we just stare at the hammer-thing, and the more we seize hold of it and use it, the more primordial does our relationship to it become, and the more unveiledly is it encountered as that which it is—as equipment. The hammering itself uncovers the specific ‘manipulability’ of the hammer."-- (Martin Heidegger, Being and Time 15: 98)

"If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail"

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A hammer is a tool meant to deliver an impact to an object. The most common uses for hammers are to drive nails, fit parts, forge metal and break apart objects. Hammers are often designed for a specific purpose, and vary in their shape and structure. The term hammer is also used for some devices that are designed to deliver blows, e.g., the caplock mechanism of firearms.

Symbolic hammers

The hammer, being one of the most used tools by Homo sapiens, has been used very much in symbols and arms. In the Middle Ages it was used often in blacksmith guild logos, as well as in many family symbols. The hammer and pick is used as a symbol of mining. A well known symbol with a hammer in it is the Hammer and Sickle, which was the symbol of the former Soviet Union and is very interlinked with Communism/Socialism. The hammer in this symbol represents the industrial working class (and the sickle the agricultural working class). The hammer is used in some coat of arms in (former) socialist countries like East Germany.

In Norse Mythology, Thor, the god of thunder and lightning, wields a hammer named Mjölnir. Many artifacts of decorative hammers have been found, leading modern practitioners of this religion to often wear reproductions as a sign of their faith.

Judah Maccabee, "The Hammer".

In American folkore, the hammer of John Henry represents the strength and endurance of a man.

The hammer in the song If I Had a Hammer represents a relentless message of justice broadcast across the land. The song became a symbol of the American Civil Rights movement.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Hammer" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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