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It is used as a lever to either force apart two objects or to remove nails. Crowbars are commonly used to open nailed wooden boxes. Another common use for larger crowbars is general demolition: for removing nails, prying apart boards, and generally smashing things.
Crowbars can be used as any of the three lever classes but the curved end is usually used as a first-class lever, and the flat end as a 2nd class lever.
Materials and constructionEdit
Normally made of medium carbon steel, they can be made from titanium also, which has the advantage of being lighter, nonmagnetic, and spark-resistant.
The least expensive, most common crowbars are forged from hexagonal or sometimes cylindrical stock. More advanced, expensive designs often are forged with an I shaped cross sectional shaft similar to an I-beam.
The accepted etymology identifies the first component of the word crowbar with the bird-name crow, perhaps due to the crowbar’s resemblance to the feet or beak of a crow. Our first attestation of the word is circa 1400. They also were called simply crows, or iron crows; William Shakespeare used the term crow in many places, including his play Romeo and Juliet, Act 5, scene ii:
- Get me an iron crow and bring it straight.
- Unto my cell. ...
One false etymology is that the term crowbar derives from Jim Crow and that they were used by blacks to perform menial tasks, giving it racist origins. Jim Crow was alive at least 400 years after the origin of the crowbar, so it is highly unlikely that he had anything to do with its name. This has been discredited by Snopes.
For Use In a Zombie InfestationEdit
Due to its fairly lightweight and useful nature, a crowbar makes an excellent melee weapon for when things get up close and personal with a zombie. It originaly got famous as an anti-zombie weapon for being the meele weapon of the famous video game Half-Life. The flat pointed end is perfect for penetrating a zombie skull or prying open a barricade so you can get inside a house to stay for the night when on the move. Other uses include destroying stairs, crude hammer, and climbing hook. This last use should be restricted to very few situations.