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George Jowett’s Anvil

by | Sep 3, 2023

“In the old days, anvils were made in various sizes, and in a smithy shop you could always find three or four of different weights. A light anvil would be about seventy-five or eighty pounds and used for straightening nails, or light riveting. The others averaged around one hundred forty pounds to one hundred sixty-eight pounds. Where heavy forging was done, anvils much heavier were used, but the last two named seemed to be the regular thing. If any new comer wanted to try his strength they would ask him if he could lift an anvil with one hand. This was done by standing the anvil on end with the horn pointing upwards. The horn is a very thick conical affair that runs abruptly to a point. You were supposed to take hold of the horn with the hand and raise it off the floor. I have seen several raise the seventy-five or eighty pound anvil high off the floor, but I only saw two ever lift the one hundred forty pounds anvil; while on three occasions I successfully raised the anvil of one hundred and sixty-eight pounds. It is a very severe arm test, and if a man had the grip to raise any of these anvils in this manner, he always had the forearm to make it possible and the wrist to sustain both.”

From: The Key to Might & Muscle
Chapter 8: Thickening the Wrist by Strengthening the Grip by George F. Jowett

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