From the Relief Society Magazine, February 1962 –
By Maryhale Woolsey
The spelling of the name was Mother’s guess, and nobody ever questioned it. It was, she explained, a mental picture of a word somehow derived from the name Houdini, the famous magician grandfather greatly admired. “Sure the handiest man ever I heard of!” he used to say.
And that Houdinattie was the handiest, Mother thought, of all Grandfather’s tools. It was a special kind of hammer, all metal, shiny nickel finished, shaped like a long letter “T,” with its stem split at the bottom. Its crossbar, heavy and squared at the ends, made the double hammer head, and the split stem made the claws. Not curved as all the usual hammers’ claws, but flattened to sharpness at their ends. They could pry up nails and loosen nailed-on box covers the quickest and cleanest any hammer ever could. It had an unusually good balance for nail driving, too.