The Nebraska Prairie Museum has recently acquired a Blacksmith’s Swage Block. Never heard of it? You’re not alone. The Swage Block is a multi-purpose tool used similar to an anvil by blacksmiths, metal sculptors, armorers and other metalworkers.
The Swage block given to the Nebraska Prairie Museum by Roger Anderson of Cambridge, NE, weighs more than 100 pounds. The holes and impressions in the swage block are for the blacksmith or craftsperson to work hot or cold metal on or into. The holes are used for bending, forging heads and punching holes.
Roger Anderson’s grandfather, James (Jake) Anderson, a blacksmith, owned the swage block. James grew up in the Holdrege Children’s Orphan Home.