Hammers haven't changed too much since the 19th Century however this excerpt from Knight's American Mechanical Dictionary ©1881 gives some great insights in which hammer to use for each job, as well as some historical information.
Ham'mer. 1. A tool for driving nails, beating metals, and the like.
We can hardly admit the statement of riiny that the hammer was invented by Cinyra, the discoverer of copper-mines in the island of Cyprus. Tools of metal, of which the hammer was among the first, must have been in use for many centuries. Tubal Cain, the descendant in the sixth generation from Cain, was an "artificer in brass and iron" ; copper, probably, rather than brass. Brass and bronze are not distinguished from each other, by name, cither in Greek or Latin.
The initial form was perhaps a stone fastened to a handle, and used as a club, A, B, C, D, E. Many such are found in the relics of the stone age, before man had learned the use of metal, the most useful of which, iron, was about the last to be discovered, of those which are applied to the common affaire of life. This stone age is so far in the remote past as to antedate all historical accounts of manners, customs, and appliances. The use of stone, however, in the mode described, still exists among many nations imperfectly provided with a better substitute. In the Bible we read of hammers for nails, forging, and planishing, and for breaking stone.
A B are ancient stone hammers, found in longneglected workings of the Lake Superior copper region, and are identical with those of other parts of the world. It is not necessary to give them an equal antiquity to the "celts," stone axes and hammers of the stone age of Europe, as many of the implements yet in use among the more barbarous North American Indians are of the same general character. See AXK.
Modern hammers are of many shapes and kinds. The parts are the Jiaiullc and head. The latter lias an eye, fact, peen, or claw.
F shows a riveting hammer. Of its parts a is the face, b the poll, c the eye, d the peen, e the helve.
G is a large hammer used by machinists. Between F and G is a claW, which takes the place of the peen of the other hammer. I and J are miners' hammers; K a miner's wedge.
Haininer-making forms a very important part of the industry of the great manufacturing center, Birmingham, and its satellite, Wolverhampton.
The nomenclature of the various kind*, which are numerous, is generally derived from their application, though iu some instances from the form.
File-maker's, sledge, riveting, lift, raising, claw, planishing, gold-beater's, hacking, veneering, may be enumerated among the numerous varieties, as well as tilt and steam hammers.
Hammers employed in engine work are of three sizes, the sledge, flogging, and hand hammers. See
also Miner's Hammer.