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Help Identifying my Anvil


Ryan Bernard
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Just looking at the serial numbers, it could be a Trenton or an Arm and Hammer or a Hay-Budden.  I need a better ( much larger and turned the right way) shot of the middle of the side with the horn pointing to your right, that's where the mark (if any) will be.  A shot of the underside of the base would be helpful, and a transcription of all the marks on the front foot will give it a date range IF I can tell which maker it is and that groove didn't wipe out the number...  I'm leaning early Hay-Budden at the moment, but I'm not where my book is so I can't really check for other details.

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Basing my opinion on that nice thick top plate, I'm going to lean to saying arm& hammer or hay budden.  I've seen a big arm & hammer and their shape is very close to hay bubben.  That central ridge on the feet is also a good indicator of hay budden.  But the flat base tells me otherwise, also the holding hole in the foot would have me lean away from hay budden.  Its hard to exactly tell as all anvils are not perfectly alike.

 

I may be wrong but I thought that trenton's had nice skinny wastes. 

 

Over all that is probably a nice high quality anvil judging by that plate.

 

Serial number will tell the tale. 

 

 

Also I should add, I'm not expert on identifying, but I do get a see a lot of hay buddens, this is only my opinion from seeing a good variety of them.

Edited by Daniel W
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Also, its not clear but can you see any layers of Wrought iron? That can give you a little info about age.  I think that it was after one of the world wars that hay budden got away from using Wrought iron.  Pretty sure it was after WWI. 

 

It just looks like you have a lot of horizontal scars. 

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Okay, I have the book, and it pretty much pegs it as a second-generation Hay-Budden, somewhere between 1895 and 1908.  I strongly suspect there is a number missing off the serial, as that number would put it in 1893-ish but the thick heel suggests it's the later variety.  HB went to an all-steel top half and a base with an hourglass-shaped depression in late 1908, and this one is clearly not one of those with that lovely faceplate and the flat base.  Postman (author of the book) suggests that any HB over 250 lbs was essentially a custom job, as they are the only ones with a handling hole in the front foot like a Peter Wright.  And this one.

 

So:  It's a wrought iron bodied steel-faced Hay Budden, made in Brooklyn, NY.  If it is missing the last digit of the serial number it was made around 1903-1904.  If not, it's 1893-ish.  HBs were the most lightly-marked anvils of the day, and the lettering usually wears off quickly.  Plus they made anvils for at least 70 hardware wholesalers with those names on them rather than the HB mark, so even if it doesn't have the words Hay Budden visible.  Among others, they made the Acme, sworn at by coyotes everywhere.  :lol:  And the face on that looks spectacular!  Absolutely no dressing needed.  That girl has led a long working life with people who knew how to use her, which is highly unusual in machine shops.  In other words, you got a score with that one.  

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