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New to Forum, Help with Anvil ID and year

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Hello, I am looking for help with Identifying this Anvil and Year.  So far research, which includes talking to a 2 Blacksmiths and of course consulting AIA, has turned up some info, but conflicting.  The 4 handling holes and step on the front foot would tend to lean towards a Peter Wright.  However Trenton Anvils also used a 4 hole handling design around years 1900 to 1907.  But it seems the Flat bottom was only used on Large Trenton Anvils.  the 129 definitely is the weight in pounds not kg's.  Trenton Used an "A" in the serial number and on the Front right foot like this one has.  I have no idea what the "O" or " ZERO" is meant to represent on the front left foot.  A page from the AIA holy grail made a one liner mention of DERBY being a company that would have had the Anvil made for them around 1900 to 1901.  It seems as though another company possibly comes into play...Columbus Forge and Iron Company.  Apparently CF & IC made anvils for Hardware stores and other Brand names, but on most of those the Trenton logo is still visible or noticeable somewhere.  On this anvil there is no other visible marking other than what the pictures show.  Besides all that it has a nice ring and descent hammer rebound.  I was hoping the Farrier Clip horn would help with identifying however AIA shows PW and Trenton making a Steak design Horn with a Farrier Clip step in very similar positioning.  Any ways, any help is help full and much appreciated.  BTW paid $350.00 for the Anvil at an Auction.  At this Auction was one right next to it that looked exactly the same, but had the Trenton logo on it.  that one sold for $650.00. Thank you again for your help and or comments.

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The year is really immaterial   -  use it like you stole it and don't look back

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Thank for your replies. Does a first year production Trenton, place it some where in the dates I mentioned?  (1900). And would it be a correct assumption that first/early years means an import? Black Frog one more question if I may, cuz you very certain, what about the anvil makes it an easy distinction from the PW's with similar characteristics? 

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Not an import. Very early U.S. Trentons had this imported construction style before switching to the cast base style.  First year production is 1898.

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Note that if you are really puzzled by an anvil you can contact Richard Postman directly; He has a lot more knowledge than what was published in his first book...

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Thank You for your replies and pictures.  I love finding out the history of the older anvils.  I wonder what the Backwards B is about.  I assume this Early Trenton is also a DERBY like the one posted pics of.

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Yes, same hardware brand that early Trenton made anvils for.  The backwards "B" is simply someone put the stamp in the holder upside down.  Can't change it once it is whacked into the side of the anvil!

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 My mother has a Vulcan arm and hammer anvil. It weighs approximately 90 pounds and has a number 10 raised on the point side of the anvil and a number 85 raised on the rear of the anvil. The Vulcan arm & hammer emblem is raised on the side.  Can anyone tell me any information about this like when it was made and it’s approximate value?  Looks to be in excellent condition. Has both the square and round the hole on top towards the back of the anvil

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I bought my Vulcan for about $0.85 cents a pound. But I met a blacksmith who favored me. I have seen them go for $3.00 to $5.50 a pound at auction. I have Vulcan is the 1890 version of a harbor freight anvil. No real ring or superb rebound. I own one though and love it. Your pics look to be in good condition. 

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BTW... Vulcan and Arm & Hammer are two different anvil's, your mom's is a Vulcan the number 10 indicates the weight 100 pounds more or less. I have a #10 which weighs 110 pounds and I love it, very quiet anvils. Hope you have read about not doing any grinding, milling or welding on the hardened face, which is quite thin on Vulcan's.

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Yes very quiet anvils. Known as the “city anvil” which means no loud ring or noise while forging. And still a great anvil. I have a Trenton with great ring and rebound. And almost all my projects involve me using both. 

To back up Irondragon. Do not clean it up. Just use it. Nothing but a wire wheel at most. 

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Vulcans were made by Illinois Iron and Bolt, starting in the 1870s, and running for about 100 years.  The reason they were quiet, and you shouldn't mess with the face is that they have a cast iron body with a thin steel face. Makes for a quiet anvil that's fairly cheap to produce.  Fisher did the same thing and so did Southern Crescent.  Fishers are great, Southern Crescents are lousy, and Vulcans...are hit and miss. 

The good ones are great, the ones made at four o'clock on Friday, not so much.  The face looks good what you can see of it.  If it's clean, and the rebound is decent, maybe three or four bucks a lb in the eastern United States.  Out where I'm at in Washington now, maybe a buck or so more.  Anvils are like hens teeth out here. (and all but my little 75 lb Columbian are in Georgia, dang it).

And also, looking at your name, I'd also caveat that with don't use it as a welding surface, you'll make soft spots on the face.

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Oh and by the way, I think the 85 on the back foot is actually 1885 (with the 18 worn off) so she's a grand old lady and needs to be treated with respect. Later Vulcan's just put the last digit's of the year. Mine has 43 so it was made in 1943.

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$ 10 bucks :)   Vulcan pricing was pretty consistent in the early 20th century at 10 cents a pound.  They were "cheap" relative to the fancier brands plus were carried by some of the big catalog retailers so were quite common on the farm as well as schools and other places were frugal counted.

Rebound tends to be meh but they are serviceable and not boat anchors like the current chinese offerings.  The real price should be more like $ 2 a pound but recently they are commanding prices up there with quality anvils...$ 4 to $ 6 a pound usually. As others have said, location location location, though.

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Most non smithing  folks can't differentiate between the Vulcan, which was more the Ford Escort of the smithing world and other anvils like the Arm and Hammer, Trenton or Hay Budden. Unfortunately this means folks are often asking Shelby Cobra prices for an Escort. More unfortunately people trying to get into smithing often pay it not knowing any better.

As mentioned before. It's a real anvil and not an ASO and is actually probably better for hobby smiths in an urban or suburban setting due to being quiet.  Will not withstand a lot of abuse though---PLEASE no teenagers striking with sledge!

 

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