Lee Valley Tools Woodworking Newsletter
Vol. 2, Issue 6
July 2008
What Is It?

Currency-destroying hammer

This hammer or small sledge-type device was initially thought to be a log-stamping hammer or a blacksmith's tool for severing metal or scoring an x, but the tool's sharp edges would never have been retained if it were used in either manner. It has now been tentatively identified as a currency-destroying hammer that was used to remove paper currency or sensitive documents from public circulation.

The material composition of paper bills has varied—today's American bills are printed on paper composed of 25% linen and 75% cotton; Canadian bills are printed on 100% cotton. (Paper made from fibers other than woodpulp has long been acknowledged as more durable.) Included in the specialized manufacture of the unprinted sheets are various colored threads and metal strips that prevent any possibility of illegal reproduction of currency.

Currency-destroying hammer

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