Pincers with a flathead and straight gripping jaws are described in three English tool catalogues as "Carpenters."147 This design enabled the head to be placed flush against a surface in order to pull nails or bolt heads from a hole. They were sold in either a "black" or a "bright" finish, with the latter costing 2 shillings 6 pence more per dozen. The dark paint on this example explains the purpose of a black finish—to retard rust. The hole piercing both arms of the pincers shown here was used to cut wire or nails.
Carpenter's pincers, England, 1790-1830. Iron. 13" (L). Museum purchase with funds provided by Henry Belin du Pont, 1957.0026.489