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Photograph, Tin Snips, by J. Wiss and Sons Co., $1.85

This is a photograph. It was photographed by Walker Evans.

This object is not part of the Cooper Hewitt's permanent collection. It was able to spend time at the museum on loan from The J. Paul Getty Museum as part of Tools: Extending Our Reach.

It is dated 1955. Its medium is gelatin silver print.

In the July 1955 issue of Fortune Magazine, the American photographer Walker Evans celebrated iconic hand tools in a photographic essay, "Beauties of the Common Tool." Referring to the hardware store as an "offbeat museum show," Evans praised the "undesigned" forms of classic tools and chided the "design-happy manufacturers" who dared to change the least detail. Tin snips, a bricklayer’s trowel, chain-nose pliers, and a crate opener were, in Evans’s eyes, standards of "elegance, candor, and purity." Ultimately, what Evans valued was the design, the construction that resulted from the maker’s understanding of function, efficiency of form, and material.

It is credited The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 84.XP.453.1.

  • Good Grips Scissors
  • stainless steel, santoprene (thermoplastic rubber), abs plastic.
  • Gift of OXO International.
  • 1992-52-25

Our curators have highlighted 2 objects that are related to this one.

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Its dimensions are

H x W (sheet): 25.2 x 20.3 cm (9 7/8 in. x 8 in.)

This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.

There are restrictions for re-using this image. For more information, visit the Smithsonian’s Terms of Use page.

If you would like to cite this object in a Wikipedia article please use the following template:

<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url= |title=Photograph, Tin Snips, by J. Wiss and Sons Co., $1.85 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=8 February 2023 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>