Artisan would like to thank our super knowledgeable and helpful friend Jock Dempsey over at AnvilFire.com for letting us know just how important this book is.
When this encyclopedic reference was published a decade ago the author thought he would be lucky to sell the first thousand copies. They all sold in less than a year and the book is now in its fifth printing and still selling!
Referring to Anvils in America is so common in blacksmithing and collecting circles that it is merely referred to as "AIA". Want to know when your anvil was made? Refer to AIA. Want to identify the maker of your anvil and learn their history? Refer to AIA.
Prior to AIA there were a few collectors of anvils and very few had an idea of what they had, how old or how rare. Today there are hundreds of anvil collectors and tool collectors that covet certain anvils. Antique anvils have become a hot item at sales and on ebay. There are now numerous private anvil museums.
Anvils in America is the single authoritative reference on anvils, their manufacture, history and lore. The early history of anvils starts with European makers, many long gone and now unknown. They are known only by the quality of their work and distinctive styles that are illustrated with photos by the author. The history continues with the dominance of the English anvil makers that had the power of the British Empire behind their distribution of anvils world wide. Later U.S. makers replace the dominance of the English and other countries start to export anvils to the U.S.Anvils in America documents much of this history through the makers of today.
Jock Dempsey of AnvilFire.com says,
This book is huge! (11¼ x 8½ x 1½ inches and almost 5 pounds!). When I ordered this book I thought it was a little pricey but after getting my hands on it I realized that it was worth as much as any of the $200 references I have bought from ASM!
Anvils in America includes many anvil manufacturers logos as they changed over time and approximate dates of use. It also includes rare difficult to find serial numbers of several makers with time of manufacture.
Many rare and unusual anvils are shown shuch as the huge bridge anvils used in rairroad shops and in oilfields, chainmakers anvils, sawyers anvils and double arch anvils.
Anvil lore included in AIA covers true stories and fiction. Anvil shoots gone wrong and what happens when you put too big an anvil in a compact car. . . Also included are the humorous anvil post cards by Gill Fahrenwald.
How anvils were made and many anvil manufacturing patents are found throughout the book
The only complaint about this book is that once a blacksmith or tool collector picks it up they cannot go to sleep until they finished it! A wonderful gift for a blacksmith, historian, tool collector or reenactor.
564 pages, Sewn hard cover binding, color slip cover, over 700 illustrations, published 1998.