History of the Blacksmith in Photographs: A Scrapbook (1850-1930)

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by Bryan Crawmer

The very thought of the blacksmith shop conjures up images in the mind’s eye. The glow of a forge fire radiates like a red sunset. Thick smoke carrying the acrid smell of sulfur hangs in the air. Presiding over this dimly lit world is the blacksmith himself. His skills are sharp and practiced and his work is a fascinating mixture of sheer muscle and magical arts. 


The mid-1800's invention of the photograph provides us with invaluable resources to document the blacksmith's services, physical shop, and the tools used for forging. But the people in the pictures help us connect to the very essence of the blacksmith’s trade. There is a proud look on these faces, a look of hope, of self-reliance, of purpose that sadly, today, has been lost in a world of buzzwords like lean manufacturing, downsizing, or outsourcing. These images are a snapshot... one second in a lifetime of working over a hot fire... indelible proof of the existence of those who worked a hard day and enjoyed the satisfaction of a job well done.

  • Paperback
  • 108 pages
  • S/L# 33481