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Tearing the horn off an anvil?


When I was a young’un, a saying I frequently heard (it was particularly said of children) was that a person who was prone to breaking things could “tear the horn off an anvil.”

Over the years, I have occasionally used this saying. Often I have been met with a blank look. This caused me to realize that many people are not clear on what an anvil is, or why an anvil has a horn.

At the lawn mower shop last week, I noticed a particularly photogenic anvil. I took a picture of it in case I ever needed to illustrate the saying.

An anvil, of course, is used by smiths and other metal workers for hammering a piece of metal into a particular shape.

As for the machine below, which I also photographed because it was photogenic, I’m not exactly sure what it is. My guess, though, is that it’s for crimping metal. Notice the crimped length of stovepipe behind the machine. If my theory is correct, then this machine would let you make a stovepipe out of a piece of sheet metal.


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