This was the axle hammer that every Trentonian knew about. It was continually pounding out a cadence that was always there but not really heard; the sound was just part of being there in Trenton in those years. Yet when it stopped, there was something missing. It was like the sounds that are always present in a house or a car, but when they are not heard, it is noticed.
As kids, we would be lured over back of the CN station, across the tracks, and up to the barred opening where we could see the men operating the big axle hammer. It was mesmerizing; we would stand there and watch for lengthy periods of time.
Later, I was carrying mail through the whole plant, and I was still hypnotized by the axle hammer.
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