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Hey all, I am fortunate enough to have been allowed to help out at a historic blacksmith shop somewhat nearby my house. The venue is historic reproduction, so it (to the best of my knowledge) is created after a blacksmith shop around the turn of the 20th century or just before. Half of the shop is seating for observers, and in a good day they say they have between 150-250 or so people visit for demos. My my question for ya'll is, what are interesting demos? The place is outfitted with an astonishing amount of tooling, anvils, floor mandrels, post vices, swage blocks, post drills, bench vices, grinding stone, etc. All hand powered, no electricity. NOTE: all items made are property of Glen Haven historical village and are offered to the visitors with the request of a small donation to the village. I will NOT profit from any of this other than experience. I was thinking Fredericks crosses, hooks, fire pokers, tavern puzzles (this may take too long), bottle openers. I'm open to any and all ideas! They seem to have endless square bar for metal stock in various small sizes under half or so inch. I saw some flat bar and maybe a bit of round bar. Horse shoes available too, no rr spikes that I spotted at first glance. Thank you for your time and thoughts, Brent
Can anyone suggest documentation or literature that references the participation of women in historical blacksmithing shops? I am beginning to demonstrate in reenactment settings here in Florida, and am hearing more and more questions about this subject. I have always assumed anyone in the vicinity of a blacksmithing shop that was able to do the work, or at least assist by working the bellows or swinging a sledge would be involved in some aspect of it, whether they were male or female. I'm sure it was less common for women to work in the shops, but believe it was more common than history tells us. Has anyone come across readings or other references they could pass my way?