Reading Anvil Weight Markings

How to determine your anvils weight via markings.

Anvils are marked in a variety of methods but most English anvils were marked using the hundredweight system. American made anvils are marked in pounds. Anvils made in other places (including many Swedish anvils) are often marked in pounds. A few are marked in kilograms and some cast anvils are marked in pounds rounded to the nearest 10 pounds (250# = 25). Cast markings are easy to identify as they are usualy raised figures rather than stamped into the anvil. Then there are the many unmarked anvils. . . If you are not sure and you really need to know then weigh it.

English Hundreds Weight (hundredweight) System: Typically the hundreds weight markings are separated by dots but not always. These figures were stamped into the finished anvil and are often not very deep. The first figure to the left is hundred weights which equal 112 pounds. The next figure is quarter hundred weights which equal 28 pounds and the last number is whole pounds. The three are added together for the total weight.

Examples: 1 · 0 · 16 = 112 + 0 + 16 = 128 pounds

2 · 1 · 3 = (112 x 2) + 28 + 3 = 255 pounds

2 · 2 · 25 = (112 x 2) + (28 x 2) + 25 = 305#

The second place is never over 3 so if you have difficulty reading the number it is a 1, 2 or 3. The last place is never over 28 and most often is a single digit or less than 20. The weight of these is usually +/- 1 pound when measured on an accurate modern scale. SO. . . how did the English weigh anvils and figure the marking? EASY, on a balance scale using hundred weight, quarter hundred weight and pound weights.


Anvil weight markings



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Jock Dempsey