Photograph, Stahls Chain-nose Pliers (Over Actual Size), from Eskilstuna, Sweden, $2.49, 1955
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.XM.956.1057.
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Its dimensions are
H x W (sheet): 24.9 x 19.9 cm (9 13/16 x 7 7/8 in.)
This object was previously on display as a part of the exhibition Tools: Extending Our Reach.