About 10 years ago, we bought a pole barn (a “take down take home”) to put up on our property. It was a difficult job requiring a variety of tools. While working on the roof, my son, Cole (who was 11 at the time) was helping me. After asking for several tools to be handed up to me while on the ladder (jacks, hammer, crowbar, square, pry bar, and ratchet etc.) he was getting a little weary of going up and down the ladder. I was also having trouble keeping track of all the tools on the roof lance-cole(and him for that matter – yelling for him to bring another tool – ha!).
We were finishing up for the day and had come down into the finished part of the barn. Cole had laid a tow bar on top of my hammer which made it look like one “hammer/crow bar”. I looked at it and thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a hammer and crow bar together like that”. It was a great idea, but it would be too long. Now I am the type to always try and find a way to make something work (and easier ways to simplify jobs to save time!). So we thought about it and took Cole’s hammer cut it in half and added a bar and welded the ratchet to it (which was very crude but worked!) so it would fold in half and be easier to use and carry. After finishing the barn my son and I had more time to brainstorm and concentrate on a better prototype.
Sadly, my son passed away when he was twelve in a tragic accident a few months after our invention.
Since then, we have been working on it faithfully for the past decade and we now have 4 prototypes, the latest being close to a production model.
Losing my son had a lot to do with my inspiration and the drive to see it to completion. It is now my life’s work and I dedicate it to him. That is why it is called the Cole-Bar Hammer, in loving memory of Cole N. Hyde; a very loving, ambitious and creative young boy.