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I Forge Iron

Can anyone help ID this anvil

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My dad and I started taking blacksmith classes in early April, and have caught the bug BAD. Dad remembered that his dad, my grandpa, had an anvil, and after some talk with my uncle, they tracked it down. It was sitting behind a shed near the Iowa river. They got it loaded and Dad brought it up to me to use, along with my great-grandfather's post vice that is still in great shape. I took it to class and our instructor noted that it was a Hay-Budden. We didn't dwell on it long because there was iron to forge! But he said it was a good one. That lead me to do some research, but I still have a couple of questions. Underneath the makers logo are the numbers 1, 9, 7. I'm guessing this is #197. I took some pics of the serial # and it looks like either 55008 or 33008. Another odd thing. I have learned that H-B's have oval impressions in the bottoms. This one has a square hole that is about an inch x an inch. Can anyone help me ID a date of mfg and any other info? Thanks so much!


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A serial number of 55008 would indicate a year of manufacture of 1900 while 33008 would be 1897. An angle grinder and cup brush would probably clean up enough rust and scale so you can discern the correct serial number and any other markings. The 197 is probably the weight in pounds as most HB's had the weight stamped on the side.

Many earlier Hay Buddens had an hourglass depression on the underside of the base. Some of the bases have worn down over the years so the depression is almost non-existent. The handling hole under the base on yours was also common on earlier Hay Buddens. There were usually 2 additional holes (1 on either end of the waist).

I have used 'Anvils in America' by Richard Postman as a reference for all the information.

Nice anvil! Use it well.

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Thanks for the info! I'll try to clean it up a bit and see what else I can find. There are two additional handling holes right where you said they were. My wife was curious as to why I was so excited to get this anvil and my great grandfathers post vise. "Aren't they just tools?"
She understood a geat deal more when I told her that for me, these are a direct connection to my Grandpa and great-Grandpa. These were tools used by them. I don't have anything else from them but these tools, and I can still use them and pass them along someday to my own kids. It's not just a hunk of iron. Or just an anvil. It is the history of my family. (And the anvil has an amazing ring!)

Thanks again for the information!

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I have an HB that has worn the hourglass rim down flat as well, you can just see the faint outline of it in a couple of places.
I bought it at the shutting down auction of an old plumbing/HVAC company, (They moved to their *new* building in 1938 IIRC).

HB's tend to have a lovely thick hard face and are one of the top American anvils.

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