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I Forge Iron

A Hay Budden?

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I picked up this smaller anvil on quirky stand the other day and am wondering whether it may be a Hay Budden? There are no name, weight or serial number stampings but it does have the concave base impression although it is neater than the Buddens I have seen. Any other possible makers?

The anvil’s face is only 26 inches off the ground and the base is under-built for any serious forging but I kind of like it’s look and have another user or two so this one may remain ‘as is’ for a while.

112.5 pounds including the stand which probably weighs 10-15 pounds.

Notice the sideways lean to it’s body.









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Scrambler82 – I have not tested the anvil but assume there would be some spring to the frame when striking heavy blows to hot iron. I think the base is underbuilt for all but the lightest projects. The axels are about ½ inch in diameter so would also have some flex although the bearing point is flush with the wheels which helps a little. Cast iron can be brittle however so it’s probably best that the wheels not suffer the full shock of hammering.

I had a small Hay Budden which I discussed in a post titled ‘sloppy Budden’ and others responded that they had or had seen imperfectly forged examples as well. These ‘leans’ etc appear to be a byproduct of the manufacturing process rather than abuse in smith’s shops.

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  Looks like an anvil I have. I knew it was a Hay-Budden. Wrong, turned out to be an American.  Made in Brooklyn 1888 to 1912. It has the same concave  base. Same handling hole in the middle of the front foot. 


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Hay Budden made anvils for many other companies. Sears and Roebuck (Acme) Montgomery Ward, and many other hardware chains. Oftentimes they printed those other firms names on them but not necessarily always. Is a pretty safe bet that anything that looks like a HB probably is.

Manufacturing process was forging. Most of which was done by hand. 5 or 6 guys swinging sledge hammers. Good at it as they were it was impossible to get them all the same as in machine tooling thus most of them will have imperfections and not be perfect matches.


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  Here is a shot of my American. I thought it was a HB, made for American Hardware. But it didn't have a serial number on the front foot. In the first picture you can see the handling hole low on the front foot. 

  Get some more paint of were the logo should be. I have been wrong before. 

  N.N.F.                                                                                       70,340 bounces 


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Thank you for your responses everyone.

NoName - I will look for photos of other "American" anvils.

Arkie - I need to find a copy of Anvils in America 

Fatfudd - I will search for some images of Trenton anvils. The hourglass base impression is neater than that on the Hay Buddens I have seen. 

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I recently read, but now can't find it, where a principal officer with Hay Budden left the company and formed his own anvil manufacturing company, making "American Anvils".  You might search for that info.

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   I just wanted to help. The reason I even chimed in, when you mentioned that your anvil did not have any serial numbers. That was the big clue my anvil was not a HB. 

  It just happens I have a Trenton and an American hanging around. Both are about 100#s. The American has the handling hole on the bottom. Could it be a Trenton ? 

   Time to nail it with the ole wire brush. 

    N.N.F.                                                        Beautiful, Manchester, Michigan. 



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Thanks again everyone. I will be away for several days but will take a closer look at the anvil when I return. The paint is quite thin and I am fairly confident that there is not a serial number under it but I’ll take another look. I’m leaning toward a Trenton as several of you have suggested.

I have had two Hay Buddens both of which had much cruder hourglass impressions in the base. Is this common for this manufacturer or did I end up with two oddballs?

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1 hour ago, ThomasPowers said:

it ranges, I have a clearly stamped HB where the hourglass indentation is nearly invisible, it was fairly thin and not very deep and wore pretty much flat.

I have a number hay budden anvils several of which are in new or near mint condition and none of the hour glass indentations are deeper than 1/4"   As thomas  has indicated the indentation is nearly gone on any of the HB's that have been used at all. Of the older style trenton's that I have or have owned the hour glass indentation is clearly deep as your's is. 

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