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Stamping Hammer with Counter,
Invented by Gustav Maletzki

stamping hammer with wooden handle

This stamping hammer with an automatic counter was invented by the Leipzig furrier Gustav Maletzki (1884–1947). The nails in the face of the hammer stamp a mark on the inside of furs. A joining rod transfers the force of every blow to a mechanical counter, which shows the number of furs stamped and delivered to the tannery. The stamping hammer was made around 1930 and is one of the patented inventions for which Maletzki earned several awards.

Maletzki’s father was also a furrier, and in 1895 he moved with his family from the Polish town of Sieradz to Leipzig. For centuries the German trade fair city had been the center of the international fur trade, and many Jews worked in the industry. After spending several years as an apprentice and journeyman in Berlin, Brussels, Paris, and New York, Maletzki returned to Leipzig as a fashion furrier and founded his own company around 1910. Thanks to his innovative fur finishing methods, his business became highly successful and exported fur products to many countries in Europe. Even after the Nazis took power, Maletzki continued to apply for invention and utility model patents for fur processing.

In autumn 1938 the German government ordered all Polish Jews to be deported. Facing the threat of forced expulsion, the Maletzki family gave up their company and fled to Bolivia in October 1938. Gustav Maletzki died there in 1947.

Stamping hammer with counter, invented by Gustav Maletzki
Leipzig (?), around 1930
Wood, metal
37 x 11.5 x 6.5 cm
Gift of Alfred Malecki

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