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Meet Hephaestus: the original “Man of Steel”

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Back in the bad old days of Greek mythology, Hephaestus was the name of the god of fire, in particular the fire of the blacksmith. This made him the patron of all craftsmen, as well as the god of volcanoes.

In terms of his personality, Hephaestus is an interesting study in contrasts. By many accounts, he was a jealous lover and gained his wives not through charm but through guile and cunning. Other accounts describe him as a gentle, sensitive “peacemaker” type. By all accounts, he was not considered to be a “hottie”. Additionally, he was the only Greek god to have a physical disability: he had clubfeet that faced backwards. For this reason, he was rejected by his mother, Hera, who threw him into the ocean in the first documented case of postpartum depression. Luckily, he was rescued by the Nereids, who took care of him for nine years in their caves and kept him from further harm from his mother.

During this time, Hephaestus started tinkering with metal, making jewelry from bits and pieces of metal and coral that he found underwater. Because they didn’t have wheelchairs back then, he also built two golden robots to help him move around. This engineering feat was followed by his building of the twelve thrones of Olympus. By now he was in need of assistants, so he hired a crew of eager one-eyed goonies known as the Cyclops, who helped him create beautiful decorative iron and jewelry for his surrogate mothers.

It wasn’t long before his birth mother Hera caught wind of the beautiful jewelry that her contemporaries (female goddess-types) were wearing. Never to be left out of a trend, she enquired as to the maker of the jewelry and learned that it was her own son, at which point she decided that the physical beauty he lacked was compensated by the beauty he was able to create, and so she forgave him. The conversation must have gone something like this:

(Hera): “Dear son, I forgive you for being ugly and I no longer regret that you didn’t die when I threw you from the heavens into the ocean. Because I have now forgiven you, I command you to return to me at Olympus, your birth place.”

(Hephaestus): “Wow mom, although I am truly overcome with your sudden change of heart and your immense graciousness, I kind of like living here with my bevy of mermaid-like surrogate moms so I won’t be joining you anytime soon.”

So Hera did what any responsible mother would do: she sent Dionysus, Hephaestus’ brother, to get him drunk on wine, who then slung him onto a donkey, which he then rode back to Olympus, where he officially joined the ranks of the gods.

Now that he was a god, his mother rewarded him with his very own massive underground workshop, fully equipped with all the latest metal fabrication machinery. In fact, C Marshall Fabrication is rumored to still have a few old invoices from Hephaestus in its archives (some of the invoices are made out to Cyclops, but keeping a low profile was typical “Heph”, for those who knew him).  It was in this workshop that Hephaestus and his one-eyed helpers continued to create beautiful jewelry for all the Olympian goddesses, as well as weapons, furniture and armor.

Some of Hephaestus’ most famous creations include:

-Thunderbolts for Zeus

-Athena’s shield

-Arrows for Eros (the god of love)

-The chariot for Helios (the sun god)

-The invincible suit of armor for Achilles (too bad it didn’t cover his heel)

Hephaestus is less known for also having created the first woman. This turned out to be a total disaster and proves that he should have stuck to metal fabrication. The name of the first woman, whom Hephaestus fashioned out of clay, was Pandora. Possibly because she was ordered from the back of a comic book (like those Sea Monkey ads – remember them?), she came with one (1) FREE supernatural jar, which contained all the evils of the world and which she then, in the first documented case of PMS, promptly released on all of mankind.

C Marshall Machinery has taken these lessons to heart, and that’s why we stick to what we’re good at. If you are looking for a woman or a golden robot, check in at Olympus and talk to Hephaestus and his team of Cyclopes. On the other hand, if you are in the market for top-notch metal fabrication machinery, give the folks at C Marshall a call.

-Anja Wulf

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