The blacksmith made tools, latches and locks, hasps and hinges, fireplace and cooking utensils, lamps and lighting devices, in fact, anything you can think of that would be forged and hammered out of iron. He repaired farm tools, wagons, carts and carriages. In fact, a Colonial village or town without a blacksmith had a serious problem.
|Eric Sloane's book 'A Museum of Early American Tools' is a |
great place to learn about them .
For the most part, knowledgeable dealers and collectors are able to identify it and date it within a time frame, but because most hand wrought iron is never marked or dated, the task of accurately dating it is impossible. But there are two ways we can determine the approximate time frame in which an item was created. One, is from the design of the object. While common utilitarian objects are the most difficult to date, items that incorporate design features can give us a clue. As style and fashion changed over time, many of the blacksmith's designs changed too. Take for example, the pair of andirons shown here.
|Pair of Handmade Eighteenth Century Andirons|