I received an email today from Tools of the Trade with some news updates, one of which in particular caught my eye: “World Famous Tool Collector Dies at Age 87”
Being in the business of German tool sales, I have amassed quite a few tools over time without the goal nor intent of being a collector, however, “collection” would sum up my selection of tools at home (as would “organized chaos” or perhaps “method to the madness”).
A tool collection takes on a whole new meaning once you read about the late Ken Hawley, 87. Mr. Hawley began collecting tools in 1950 when he was a tool salesman in England. Over his lifetime he collected over “…2,000 joiner’s planes, 1,000 table knives, 260 micrometers, 50 anvils, 4,000 catalogues and thousands of associated photos and documents related to the sale and manufacture of tools…”¹
Mr. Hawley’s tool collection grew so much that “they are now part of the Ken Hawley Collection at Kelham Island Museum in Sheffield, UK.” I have never been to England but it remains on my bucket list as does now visiting the Ken Hawley Collection at Kelham Island Museum if and when I get the chance to hop across the pond.
I’ve seen many collectors of some of the truck brands (Snap-On, etc.) and while impressive, they are different as they are more in the name of brand loyalty (which I can certainly appreciate). It is neat to see someone with such enthusiasm and dedication to preserving a wide-array of examples of craftsmanship and the knowledge that comes along with that for future generations.
I invite and encourage you to read the article I received from Tools of the Trade written by David Frane as well as watching the YouTube video of Mr. Hawley’s collection (uploaded 2012):