Let's Talk Rusty Iron

Of Cant Hooks and Peaveys

| February 2005

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."