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I Forge Iron

thomas jefferson nail making at monticello

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One of the old blacksmithig books depicts an entire family sitting around the fireplace in winter,........Making nails by the thousands during a winter season.
They used the fireplace as forge and had some small stump anvils as I remember.

Thoreau wrote of scrounging the nails from an old shed to construct his 'cabin' at Walden pond.........This was around 1850 I think.

Before factory made nails were available, nails were a scarce, expensive item.
No wonder that early pioneers burned old shacks just to collect the nails!

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It was more than two slaves; I've read TJ's business plan he wrote up on this as a way of getting Monticello out of a financial hole. it includes estimates of how many of what type nail each slave could make, etc. I was reading about it in the complete writings of TJ published in a multivolume set.

What do you find fascinating? The fact that people who ran large estates and the US were businessmen of their times? George Washington was a whiskey distiller as it was a more profitable way to ship "grain".

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hello Thomas , can't put my finger on it why i find it fasinating but you may have just tickled the reason why.
our forfathers which i hold in high regard are a great sourse of spiritual uplifting and
sense of what sacrifice and duty means
and when i find out tid bits of what they did in thier private lives to sustain a living it just adds to my admiration of great men .
thanks for that george washington info.
i will take the risk of sounding likea patronzing idiot but many that are in blacksmithing
probally posess the same qualities as our for fathers .
my thoughts are duty to self and family then to a higher cause such as hand forged
utilities or art
doesn't get any closer that that in my book
i will leave it at that and you draw your own conclusions

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