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Fisher Anvils - Help Identifying

#1 User is offline   ZackJonas 

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Posted 21 October 2012 - 06:53 PM

Hi All,

I purchased an anvil today, it's a Fisher, with the eagle crest "FISHER" insignia and various other information cast in. The anvil is in very good shape, but I'm trying to see what else I can learn from the various characters on it. Does anybody out there know much about Fishers?

1) There is a set of four numbers - 1840 - on the lower half of the anvil, beneath the arch. At first, it looked like 1940, but upon closer inspection I believe it says 1840. I assumed this was a date, but then I learned that Fisher didn't start making anvils until 1843.

2) There is a set of two numbers down one of the feet--right side, horn end. The numbers are either 10 or 70, with a very straight 7. If it's 10, I have no idea what it means. If it's a 70, it's probably the weight; I estimated 75 lbs by feel.

There are a few other numbers and/or letters elsewhere, but I need daylight to see what they are, and I might end up taking some rubbings to see what's really there. Just thought I'd see if anybody was familiar with them.

Any insight will be appreciated!

Thanks,
Zack
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#2 User is offline   Javan Dempsey 

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:06 AM

Zack,

If it has lug holes on the feet, that gives more indication as to the date. A pic would help. A 10 on the foot could mean 100lbs. A 1940 date of manufacture is not unreasonable, and a lot of the date and weight foot stamps came later. My 1800s Fisher has none, and a very classic "London" pattern.

Regardless, imho, Fisher's are the best, and oldest American made anvils. Excellent rebound, thick face plates, and no ear destroying, neighbor enraging ring(by design). People harp on about Hay Buddens and Peter Wrights for whatever reason, probably, because they're too deaf, to hear the sighs of the listener's anguish.

Best classic American anvils, period. ;)
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#3 User is offline   ZackJonas 

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 04:41 AM

HAH! Ok, that's pretty funny. I'll post photos a little later today. I want good daylight, and I also thought it would be smart to take some rubbings off the anvil and include those. Stay tuned.

(By the way, the anvil does have lug holes at both ends.)

Zack
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#4 User is offline   ZackJonas 

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 08:44 AM

Here are the promised photos and rubbings.

I can now clearly see that the date is 1940, and the 10 or 70 is a 70, which is the weight. I guess the only two specific questions I have left are about the third to last and second to last images. The second to last is clearly an S, but I have no idea what that would represent. The third to last image is a total mystery to me. It almost looks like "U II" or "U 11," but the if it is lettering, the quality doesn't really match up with the FISHER insignia, which includes curvilinear characters. Plus, the small vertical line off to the right, is strange as well; it starts about a quarter inch lower than the other characters. Any guesses?

Lastly, I'd just be interested in any info y'all have about Fishers. My understanding is that they started production in 1843 under the name Eagle Anvil Works and changed to Fisher, sometime after that. They touted their manufacturing process, which enabled them to securely (and permanently) weld a tool steel plate onto a wrought base, which allowed for a quieter anvil--and I can vouch, this anvil is nice and quiet. They stopped making anvils in 1979. That's about all I know.

Anybody else have any insight?

Thanks,
Zack

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#5 User is offline   Jeremy Lindley 

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:00 AM

Wow-that thing has a fantastic face on it. I have an old ACME (Lin Rhea looked it up and I think he said it was made around 1907) and it wasn't in nearly that good of shape. I know nothing about Fisher's other than some of the things you already mentioned. I wouldn't mind coming across one like yours, now....those lug holes look REALLY handy :). Great find.


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#6 User is offline   Javan Dempsey 

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:25 AM

Zack, looks like you answered your own questions about the primary markings, and I regret I don't know the meaning of the others. Posting those pics over at IForgeIron, will likely get some insight, and the guy that owns/operates the Fisher/Norris museum will likely chime in and be willing to give you as much info as possible on the company and history. He's a super nice guy, I've got a special anvil I'm sending to him for the collection in fact.


That's a practically brand new, and perfect little anvil however. Forging on it will clean the face up, although you may want to gently radius the edges a bit more, both for efficiency of forging and to avoid damaging them.

Build as heavy a stand as you can manage, and bolt it down, and even that size it will move metal faster than a much larger one without such.

Once you use these, it's very difficult to go back to wrought/steel bodied anvils. I'm currently using a 300-400lb english anvil, which fortunately due to the size doesnt ring as badly as a smaller one unless you work the horn or the tail, but I definitely have to be conscious of it at night for the neighbors sake. Would trade it in a heartbeat for a comparable Fisher.
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#7 User is offline   ZackJonas 

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 10:42 AM

Thanks for the tip, I posted all the info there! Zack
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#8 User is offline   ZackJonas 

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:53 PM

Here's the post on IForgeIron.

http://www.iforgeiro...lp-identifying/

zack
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#9 User is offline   BrionTomberlin 

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 03:39 PM

That is a good looking anvil Zack, good score. Let us know what you find out.
Brion
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#10 User is offline   ZackJonas 

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 05:40 PM

So my post on IForgeIron pulled in a couple of responses from the "NJ Anvilman." (Maybe he's related to Aldo?) Anyway, he's the curator of the Fisher Norris museum, and here's what he said:

"1940 = the year cast

The eagle holding an anchor = logo used by Fisher at the time

10 on the leg = 100 lbs. This can be confirmed by weighing it. Usually accuate to =/- 5 lbs. I don't think it is a 7(0). Looks like a 10 to me.

I have many Fishers with the same Llll markings. That and the S are marks used by the moldmakers to indicate a batch #, or sequence #, or moldmaker."

So...that's the current state of my knowledge!

Zack
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#11 User is offline   Albert Boardman 

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Posted 23 October 2012 - 06:48 PM

Zach,
I have a similar fisher which unfortunately some fool left a torch cut between the hardy and pritchel hole. What is the face size of yours? It looks in great condition. I find mine a little small for bigger blades but quiet with good rebound. I think you'll enjoy it, you can't have too many things to pound on! I'll send you a pic by and by.

Barney
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