The Creusot steam hammer was a 100-ton hammer built in 1877 in Le Creusot, France. Until it was bested by a 125-ton hammer in 1891, the Creusot steam hammer was the most powerful hammer in the world. The hammer was in operation until 1930. In 1969, it was disassembled and rebuilt in the town square. Though no longer attached to a steam source, it still stands today, and is recognized as an International Historic Mechanical Engineering Landmark by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
The hammer anvil weighs 750 tons, and it was installed on a 1-meter thick oak bed, on solid masonry, built on bedrock below the soil. It was fed by four separate steam furnaces. At the time, it was legendary not only for its record-breaking 100-ton striking capacity, but also for its finesse. The hammer often performed public demonstrations of its accuracy, including corking bottles, breaking eggs in wine glasses, or cracking a nut shell without damaging the nut inside.
A full-scale wooden replica of the Creusot Hammer was displayed at the Paris Universal Exposition in 1878.
Some people believe that the famous hammer was an inspiration for another French landmark that was constructed 10 years later - the Eiffel Tower. Sounds crazy, right? Take a look at the Le Creusot Hammer and the Eiffel Tower side-by-side:
More: American Society of Mechanical Engineers: Le Creusot Hammer