The Superior Works: Inner Sanctum

Prior to the invention of mass-market media such as television and radio, manufacturers had to rely upon other creative means to spread the word about their products. Most chose to have catalogs printed, but the essence and quality of the goods are difficult to capture in the printed media. Thus, those who had the real marketing savvy opted for models or miniatures of their products. Salesmen and hardware merchants could display a scaled down model of a company's offerings where potential customers could touch, feel, and get a sense of what it was they pondered buying.

The miniature pictured here is a blacksmith's anvil accompanied by some of that trade's common tools - a pair of tongs, a maul, and a ball pean hammer. All of the metal is nickel plated, which obviously makes the samples look a bit better than what the actual tools are, but one can't find fault with superficial glitz when it gave this company's products the necessary edge over their competitions' wares.

Each of the tools is meticulously crafted. The tongs actually work, the maul and hammer have their handles wedged into their respective heads, and the anvil has a hole for the hardy (it, unfortunately, is lost). Were one equipped with a similarly sized forge, the tools could ring out the chrous of the villiage blacksmith in the comfort of your living room.

Many foundries and trade schools made similar anvils for paperweights, test castings, or academic lessons. These anvils can sometimes be found with advertising or company names embossed on their sides. The overall quality of these anvils isn't even close to the quality of this sample

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pal, February 17, 1998