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I Forge Iron

Tudor Technology


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Hi All

I found this book on the smithsonian web site.




There are some wonderfull pieces of equipment shown - counter weight forge bellows, Trip hammer, saw mills and lathes along with a load of other stuff.

Just follow the prompts for each page, if you screen looks blank just scroll don the screen as the book appears on the bottom half.

The only down side is that the first 12 - 15 pages are blank and you cannot rapid scroll through these.

It just goes to show are forebears werenot as backwards as people think.



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Once you open the first page,go to it's bottom and click on "structure" the open drop down of "plates" and choose the one you'd like to see. They are then sequential form where you started.


Love the hand crank saw mills!! 

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Hi Mac,

Well there is a German wood cut of a screw cutting lathe from the 1470's and if you look in the works of Diderot from the 18th century you will find a similar form of blacksmiths hammer but with an iron/steel frame instead of the wooden one. Diderot also shows pile drivers, cranes and other tools.

Leonardo designed a machine for cutting teeth into files, and the works of Berringucio - late 15th earl16th century are a host of illustrations showing different designs for powered bellows on forges and smelting hearths.

As for De Re metalica you have water powered bellows and a whole range of designs for mining machinery.

These were the people building great structures and developing the science and mathamatics we still use today, I think we often do these people a great disservice in thinking they were less capable than us - we use machines with so much horse power, they used horses.

So I would think most if not all of those designs were in use.


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Well life was pretty much Rube Goldberg back then anyway, you just put together whatever worked for you. There were no manufacturers of tooling on large scale like there is now. Interesting plates, I sent the link to a friend of mine that  has been wanting to build a spring pole lathe and I though that bow was a good idea.

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