Let's Talk Rusty Iron

Of Cant Hooks and Peaveys

| February 2005

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    From an ad in the Aug. 1, 1926, issue of Canada Lumberman.
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    Logging tools manufactured by the Thomas Pink Company, Ltd., Pembroke, Ont. Note the two wooden-handled tools crossed in the center of the display. On the left is a cant hook, on the right, a peavey, and at the top, a pike pole. (Aug. 1, 1926, issue of Canada Lumberman magazine.)
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    A great photo from the early 1920s of a steam-powered Frick sawmill owned by Harold Moomaw of Sugarcreek, Ohio. Just in front of the second man from the right can be seen the handle of a cant hook used to help roll uncut logs across ramps to the sawmill carriage, as well as to turn the logs on the carriage. On that carriage can be seen a squared log, or cant, about to be sawed into boards. (Catalog No. 72, published by the Frick Company of Waynesboro, Pa., circa 1923.)

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  • AnAd.jpg
  • LoggingTools.jpg
  • AGreatPhoto.jpg

How a blacksmith changed the logging industry

Given that logging was often winter work for farmers, and since someone once asked me the difference between a "cant hook" and a "peavey," this seems like an appropriate time to explore that question.

First, some official definitions from my dictionaries:

Cant: The word has many meanings, but one is: "A square-edged timber, or a squared log." Another: "To give a sudden turn or new direction."

Cant dog: "A peavey."

Cant hook: "A wooden lever having a movable iron hook near the end, and often a lipped iron ring round the tip. It is used for turning logs."

Peavey: "(After Joseph Peavey, the inventor.) Lumbering: A stout lever having a hinged metal hook and armed with a strong and sharp spike."


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