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I Forge Iron

My great grandfather was a blacksmith!

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:):)Yesterday i was looking through my garage when i came upon a tool box i took it down from the shelf and then there appears all these hammer for blacksmithing as i looked through the box a little more i found 3 pairs of tongs and labout 5 hammers all diffrent and about 3 punches. Then i asked my dad who knew i was doing blacksmithing and said O'ya your great grandfather was a black smith and his anvils at your grandpas house so tommorow i am going to go pick up my anvil WOOOOOOOOOOOO!:)

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No blacksmiths that I know of in my family, though my mum's mum's dad was a scrap metal dealer.

My dad is self employed and part of what he does involves building bespoke furniture. His dad was a tradional French Polisher (a cabinet maker who uses French polish, he weren't French! :P). His dad before him was the same too. When my grandad died, most of his tools wre piled into the garden shed. Some were chucked. A few were given to my dad. Most are still in my nan's shed though I think; noone wanted to do much with them when he died because of the emotion involved. One day I'd love to work with some of his tools, some of which were his father's.

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Mat, make sure that shed is water proof and get some rat/mouse poison into it ASAP!

IRon, folks; remember what I said about talking to *everyone*!

My great grandfater was the smith in Cedarville AR; but none of his tools are still around. he died 20 or 30 years before I took up the craft and everything disappeared. Shoot when great grandma died her house was raided during the *funeral* and a lot of her antiques were stolen. Some folks will need a lot of praying to get into an afterlife that doesn't involve fire and brimstone.

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Good for you IRon! I don't have any blacksmiths in my family history that I know of, or maybe. Could anyone elaborate on what a "Tool dresser" is/ was?
An ancestor of mine appears in an old newspaper clipping we have from 1907. The Bolivar Breeze was an Allegany county N.Y. newspaper until the 1970's. The clipping is an account of how this ancestor of mine named Sinon got on the train at Bolivar and rode it to Scio where he and his brother momentarily got off the train at that stop and got back on. Then there was a man in his seat. He told the man to get out of his seat, who refused. Mr. Sinon then grabbed the man up, threw him to the floor and reclaimed his seat. Well that didn't "sit" well with the newcomer so he whipped out a pistol and shot out several of Mr. Sinon's teeth. The headline on the article reads "Tool dresser shot- XXXXXX in jail". "XXXXXX" being a derogatory term used to describe Italian immigrants. There is of course no way such terms would be seen in print today. Things must have been much different in 1907. Dan

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Tool dressers were the folks that repointed picks, stone drills, cable tool drilling bits, etc. usually by reforging and heat treating. Associated with mines, quarries, early oil field, etc.

Sort of like cobblers were the folks who repaired shoes and cordwainers were the ones that made shoes from scratch.

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Hmm .. I only have stokers, carpenters and tanners in my family. Guess I'm the first to approach blacksmithing ( although not professionally ). Although I've been told that my great godfather was a blacksmith before being deported by the communists and his shop being confiscated . . he had the biggest pair of greatbellows I've ever seen.

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  • 8 months later...

I guess since my Grandfather did it, and my Uncle does it, I'm the third (indirect) generation in my family (that I can place so far) that has done blacksmithing. Although my ancestry goes back to Scotland, Ireland, Germany, etc. etc. There's bound to be another one in the woodpile.

Story about my grandfather goes - one day he was visiting another smith. This other guy was a little ornery to begin with, but was somehow distracted enough to hit his thumb with a hammer. Not once, but twice. (No, I have no idea what he was doing. Not important. Don't ask.) The smith proceeded to throw his hammer straight out an open window. With no pause, my grandfather (6'3", 350lb) picked up the anvil and heaved _IT_ out of the window. The other smith looked at my grandfather in astonishment and asked, "What in xxxx did you do THAT for?" My grandfather looked at him with stone sobriety and said, "I thought you wanted to work OUTSIDE today."

At least that's how it was told to me... ;)


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Who Will Watch The Home Place

Leaves are falling and turning to showers of gold
As the postman climbs up our long hill
And there's sympathy written all over his face
As he hands me a couple more bills

Who will watch the home place
Who will tend my hearts dear space
Who will fill my empty place
When I am gone from here

There's a lovely green nook by a clear-running stream
It was my place when I was quite small
And it's creatures and sounds could soothe my worst pains
But today they don't ease me at all

In my grandfather's shed there are hundreds of tools
I know them by feel and by name
And like parts of my body they've patched this old place
When I move them they won't be the same

Now I wander around touching each blessed thing
The chimney the tables the trees
And my memories swirl 'round me like birds on the wing
When I leave here oh who will I be

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As a young man my grandfather apprenticed in a local blacksmith shop and later bought it. He worked in it the rest of his life and then my uncleworked in it until 1986 when he died. The shop still mostly intact went through several different owners including a local historical society, the local school and the town but none could afford upkeep on the building and it's contents. So this year after20 some years our family took ownership of it again. It's brings back memories every time I unlock the door and smell the coal forge. I have a picture of my grandpa as a young man in front of the forge with a plow share on the anvil. I will post it if I can figure out how.

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