Anvils, Who Knew…?

September 7, 2012

See the full post for details and images.

Above: Photo of an anvil.

Not too long ago I went on a short road trip with my friend Linda. Often we end up in stores and "marts" where antiques and collectibles are sold. She has taste, style, and a collector's eye focused on a certain few things that run as a thread through her life. It's fun to see her seek.

ConeAnvil6038Left: A cone anvil, useful for certain types of hammering.

I am easily distracted, sucked in by pretty much everything, and not allowed to go to these venues on my own!

But I always have fun when I go with Linda.

We have a friend who is a sculptor who has blacksmithing skills. When I saw the anvils pictured in this post I thought of Marcia McEachron and took these photos to show her in case these were good prices and useful tools for her. (They were overpriced.)

I find the anvils fascinating to look at knowing they had a productive life. Every profession has unique tools. Sometimes the reasons for the utility of a tool is lost in time as the practitioners die out. (It's one reason I love films about old printing methods!)

I recently went to the art institute with my friend Tom and there was a carved desk on display there made by a slave in the antebellum southern United States. The desk face depicted all the tools used on an 1800s plantation. A chart showed that many of the carved images were no longer identifiable. Tom, a great source of esoteric info however knew what some of the unlabled ones were and wrote them in the guest book!

MiniAnvil6040Right: A mini anvil. Sorry I didn't put a quarter or something down for scale. It was about 8 inches wide.

    • Leslie Schramm
    • September 8, 2012

    I was lucky, school included compulsary cooking, woodwork and metalwork. Two teachers, a college trained small hammer, take your time bloke; and a working blacksmith who did it on his less busy days. That was big hammer, work fast, do it right first time learning. The cone anvil is to stretch rings, widen horse shoes, round off bar links and the like. The small anvil for working closer to the smiths face for finer work , such as shutting chain links and at the forge I saw him making shoes for cows on it. (Split in two, tiny horseshoe like items )Oh, and I’ve banged the tiny one for the Anvil Chorus in a concert.

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