Today, only blacksmiths carry on this old tradition. It is OUR fireworks display.
It is a symbol of the ideals and freedom that exists in few other places the way it does here.
Blacksmiths! Keeping our traditions alive.
anvilfire! NEWS Volume 12 - Page 8, Spring Fling, April 1999
We tried to photograph the shoot three times this day. The explosion makes you flinch even when you know its coming.
Paw-Paw expecting the anvil to fly high in the sky jerked his video camera up nearly vertical the first time!.
Since we were looking through the lens each time it was difficult to know the peak height.
It turned out to be 20 to 25 feet on this day and we both caught it perfectly on the third try!
Ironically, the first anvil shoot I attended was at the 1982 ABANA conference at Cedar Lakes, West Virginia.
Tim Ryam is well known in the blacksmithing community as an auctioneer and for his anvil shoots.
He is featured in our news article linked above.
Competition shooting for height is a lot different than celebratory anvil shooting.
Celebratory shoots only lift the anvil between a foot and 20 feet or so.
Competition shoots launch a 100 pound anvil well over 100 feet using 1 pound of black powder.
While both have many of the same hazzards the amount of powder and the distance are much greater in competition shoots.
Shooters claim that anvils always go straight up and come down within in a few feet of where they are launched.
In fact they have occassionally been known to strike the base anvil on landing.
But this is not the same as shooting a cannon and many things can go awry.
Theoreticaly the anvil can go almost as far sideways as it is expected to go vertical.
iForge is an Andrew Hooper Production
2001 Jock Dempsey, www.anvilfire.com
Webmaster email: webmaster at anvilfire.com