I’m still trying to hammer out a few new posts. Nothing’s ready today. Meanwhile…
Portrait of a Blacksmith in His Workshop, ca. 1855. Photograph. https://www.loc.gov/item/2008680496/. Public domain. Click to open larger image in new window.
Another great image from the Daguerreotype collection at the Library of Congress, still in its handsome original case.
Every town in nineteenth-century America would have at least one blacksmith, ready to make or repair pretty much anything made of metal needed for farm, home, or workshop. Most blacksmiths made tools and specialty iron work, some also made wagons and carriages. Other smiths were trained as farriers, specialists the anatomy and health of the lower limbs and hooves of horses, and the making and fitting of horseshoes.
This mid-1850s blacksmith is posed in front of his anvil, wearing his leather apron, all-purpose hammer in his right hand and a horseshoe held by tongs in his left. He stands in front of a brick forge—on his right—with the large forge bellows to his left. In front of the forge is a shelf or bench with what look like two stacks of horseshoes, ready to be fitted and nailed to the feet of hard-working farm horses. A window lets in light above his head. On the wall, to the left of the window, are several racks holding tools or—possibly—more horseshoes.
That’s all for today. Be well. Stay safe. See you next time.