Why: Wile E. Coyote always tried to drop one on the Road Runner, which led me to believe it was just a heavy object, like an anchor. Chandler thinks it has something to do with metalworking or hammering or something, but why is it shaped so weirdly?
Answer: It's a tool that blacksmiths use for forging! There are many different kinds, but most are made from steel, and each has many parts. This is a "single horn" style:
- Face - The top of the anvil is tempered to be very hard and should be smooth. The edges are slightly rounded to make sure that they don't gouge or mar the steel. This is where most of the hammering and shaping happens.
- Table, Step, or Pad - A small flat section between the face and the horn, the pad is used for chisel work so that the bladesmith does not scar the face of the anvil.
- Horn - The front end of the anvil that tapers from just below the pad to a rounded tip. Also called the bick, the horn is used for curving and bending the steel, like to make a horseshoe.
- Hardy and pritchel holes - The hardie or hardy hole is a square socket in the anvil's face that holds some of the shaping tools. The pritchel hole is a round hole in the face that allows a punch, drill, or drift to go down into the anvil. It is used for punching and shaping holes in the steel.
- Base - The bulk of the anvil, the base has mounting holes drilled through the bottom to attach the anvil to a secure mount.
Source: The American Blacksmith, HowStuffWorks
The More You Know: ACME was a fictional corporation in the Looney Tunes universe,
but when alphabetized Yellow Pages came out in the 1920s, Acme became a popular name for businesses (like Acme Boots ). Early Sears catalogs had a bunch of products with the Acme trademark, including this anvil: