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I Forge Iron

Legacy of a Blacksmith

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by Jr. Strasil

My legacy was to become a Blacksmith. I am proud of this legacy, handed down from my Grandfather to my Father and then to me. I always list my Occupation as Blacksmith, and when someone asks what I do for a living, I say proudly that I am a Third Generation Blacksmith. In this day and age it always solicites a stare of disbelief, and the inevitable question, "I didn't know there were that many horses to be shoed anymore?"

Blacksmithing has certainly changed in the 100 plus years it has been practiced by my family, but, it has put food on our tables, roofs over our heads and clothes on our backs. In those 100 plus years there have been 6 Blacksmiths in my family, my Grandfather, my Father, 2 Uncles, Myself and 1 cousin. We have not been Sam Yellin's, who was a master of Beautiful Ornamental Ironwork and left his mark for many generations to see and enjoy in our Nations Capital and in Philadelphia. The Blacksmiths of my family have done some Ornamental Ironwork, but, nothing on the scale or beauty of Mr. Yellin.

We have been and are Traditional Blacksmiths who kept busy with keeping the Wheels of Industry turning, the Implements of Agriculture operating and the Tools and Devices of every- day life functioning. We have left our Mark on society around us. But, it is a Mark that is not very visible for all to see. The most we can ever hope for is that someone will look at one or our repair jobs or fabrications and say, "That sure was a Beautiful job of repairing or building that, the person who did that was a Good Craftsman.". We were not looking for fame, we were just doing our job, the best way we knew how, so we could provide for and raise a family that would perhaps have it a little easier than we did. In my immediate family the Blacksmith Legacy will probably end with me, as my only son is no longer of this world, but, has gone to another world to be with his Great Grandfather, Grandfather and 1 of his Uncles. The Strasil Blacksmith Legacy may live on in the form one of my Grandsons. Blacksmithing has been a rewarding, interesting and enjoyable occupation for 54 of the 61 years I have been on this Earth.

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no change this side of the pond, we have blacksmiths into the early 1700
with gaps during the wars inbetween, and likewise we have worked as quarry blacksmiths nearly throughout keeping stonemasons in tools so we have over the years made a lot of hammers. on my marrage papers i put my ocupation as blacksmith, and the clerk asked me if i wanted i could put engineer . and i soon shot him down in flames, as it was a little village he saw me often, and gave me plenty if room on the street,and i used to say engineer be dammed, as i passed him

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Mr. Strasil...

My hat's off to you for keeping the family legacy alive and sharing your insights on this forum. By doing so, your legacy will reach farther than you know.

The Yellin's of this world are inspirational, but it's smiths like you that kept history rolling.

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Legacys are not just passed on through family, but by all those you teach. Every time you help me or many others out with advice your adding to that legacy. When I am no longer on this earth, and some beginning smith uses the universal tongs I made from your pattern, and decides to copy them for his own............
As long as there is iron, and them who work it your Grandfathers legacy contines.

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