Anvils and the Hammer of Thor

Can’t believe I never connected the dots.

I’ve always had a thing for Anvils. Nearly 30 years now I’ve been compiling and tracking auction sale prices on ALL types of farm and construction equipment, everything under the sun…Tractors, Combines, Plows, Sprayers, ATV’s, over 70 categories of equipment.

And Anvils.

Not that I ever had a separate “Anvils” category in our database of sale prices, we slid them into the “MISCELLANEOUS” category along with lots of other odds & ends. But any time I ran across one at auction, always interested to see what they went for. Like this one sold earlier this week:

150 LB Anvil, sold for $450 on 5/30/19 farm auction in Argyle, MN

I think it was the hammer sitting on this particular anvil…reminded me of my personal all time favorite comic book character: Thor.

Yep, Thor also always been my favorite Avenger. You can keep your Ironman, your Hulk, Captain America, Spiderman. Nothing against those good guys.

They just ain’t Thor.

Even back eons ago when I was a little kid growing up in the 1970’s and I’d have a couple dimes in my pocket, enough to buy one comic book…it was always Thor. Ironically, given the internet database/info biz I built over the past 30 years, sometimes I miss those pre-internet, pre cell phone days of yesterday. Life was simpler. Had to use your imagination more I think. No X Box or cell phone app games for kids to play.

We had to read a comic book…and dream.


My friends back in the day used to kid me a bit…“Thor, why do you always pick Thor? Why not Superman or Batman, or The Hulk?”

Nope. Thor.

I was always aware of the connection of Thor to my Scandinavian heritage…mostly Norwegian blood running through these veins, along with some Danish. So yeah, good little Norwegian boys should be Thor fans, makes sense.

But anvils…

Something about looking at an anvil that just gets me. All the marks on it, from decades ago. Forging, making…something. Something needed. Hammering away. Day after day. Keep hammering. Keep making. Keep on keeping on.

Of course some folks today look at something like an anvil and think of progress, how society and our daily lives have changed at breakneck pace. A connected world we live in. Always “On”. An anvil? That = Yesterday. Toil and sweat, backbreaking work.

But still.

Anvils and hammers also have traces in the blood running through Machinery Pete’s veins. See, my great grandfather George Peterson was a blacksmith. In 1920 in little Tolley, ND my great grandpa George had an idea, an opportunity. He had a chance to buy into the local John Deere dealership. But he had no formal education. He was worried about the numbers, the math, the books end of the biz. So he walked one day up to the local one room schoolhouse in Tolley and asked for my grandfather, Comart Peterson to step outside.

My great grandpa George had a question for him.

“Son, if I buy into the dealership, will you do the books for me?”

My grandpa Comart was 13 years old then. “Yes, father, I will help you. I will do the books.” That is how the Peterson family got involved in the farm equipment biz 99 years ago in little Tolley, ND.

Machinery Pete’s great grandfather George Peterson

Machinery Pete’s grandfather Comart Peterson - at dealership, in his 20’s

But that old blacksmith DNA connects me to the anvils I see everywhere I go. And to Thor, the Norwegian God of Thunder. I was always fascinated by Thor’s hammer…named “Mjolinir” in Norse mythology, and famously depicted in Marvel comic books for decades and in the uber popular Marvel Universe movies that have been splashing across worldwide movie screens, including “Avengers Endgame” now in theaters.

Quite the interesting truth/back story on Thor’s hammer “Mjolinir”…eye opening read on Wikipedia here:ölnir. Apparently the “Thunder weapon” Mjolinir was named after the ancient word for “grindstone”.

I like that. Grindstone. Keep grinding away. Whatever life throws your way. Bring it. Whatever Change may come…

Anyway, that’s my little ode to my love of Thor and anvils. Glad I finally connected those dots.

Machinery Pete

Grain elevators of Tolley, ND…yesteryear

Fisher Blacker anvil sold on Indiana auction: $3,000

Lakeside #128 cast iron anvil sold on Kansas auction: $500

Vulcan anvil sold Iowa auction: $230

Anvil sold Ohio auction: $3,300

Machinery Pete with daughter Josie and her dog Thorbjorn (Thunder Bear) at Rochester, MN auction filming for Machinery Pete TV show November 2017

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