See more objects with the color darkslategrey grey dimgrey or see all the colors for this object.

Object Timeline

  • We acquired this object.



  • Work on this object began.




  • You found it!

Photograph, Stahls Chain-nose Pliers (Over Actual Size), from Eskilstuna, Sweden, $2.49

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.XM.956.1057.

  • Machinist's Tool Chest (USA)
  • wood, metal, felt, mirror, approximately 250 tools.
  • Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, 1989.0259.348.
  • 14.2012.186

Our curators have highlighted 7 objects that are related to this one. Here are three of them, selected at random:

  • Controller Of The Universe
  • found tools and wire.
  • Collection of Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, New York, Courtesy of the FLAG Art....
  • 25.2012.1
  • Good Grips Scissors
  • steel (stainless), santoprene (thermoplastic rubber).
  • Gift of OXO.
  • 1992-52-26

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.

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, Stahls Chain-nose Pliers (Over Actual Size), from Eskilstuna, Sweden, $2.49 |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=15 August 2022 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>