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Old Math

 

Old Math, 2+1+3 = 255, Ask a blacksmith 

(it refers to Old English hundred weight measurements)

 

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Older English anvils are weight stamped in the hundredweight system. In it the leftmost number(s) refers to hundredweights which are increments of 112 pounds, the center number is quarter hundred weights which is 28 pounds and the rightmost number is residual pounds.

So an old English anvil stamped 1  1  1  weighs  112 + 28 + 1 = 141 pounds

One stamped  1  3  22  weights 112 + 84 + 22 = 218 pounds

The center number can only be  [0-3] (except a couple of mis-stamps are known) and the last number(s) can only be 0-27

To confuse things more American anvils and some Swedish anvils exported to the American market were stamped in pounds and of course many modern anvils from outside the USA are stamped in kg.

So knowing which anvils are stamped in what system can be a big help when buying by the pound, some sellers mistake the two systems either through ignorance or through malice:  If someone wants US$5 a pound and claims that the  111 marking on an American anvil means 141 pounds then they are gouging you for $150 . OTOH if they are selling you an English anvil stamped 1 1 1 and only want $555 then you are getting the better part of the deal. (Guess which I've seen more often!)

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