Remembering the Blacksmith Shop

Reader Contribution by John R. Heath
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Photo courtesy of Getty Images/Thomas_Zsebok_Images

I enjoyed the blacksmith story in the October 2018 issue of Farm Collector. I was born in 1930, so I remember the blacksmith shop very well. When growing up, I wanted to become a blacksmith, but by the time I was of age, blacksmithing was no more. Our local smith was named Petersen. Give him a rough sketch of what you needed, he would say, “I will have it done in a couple of days.” He drew out plow points, tampered chisels and shoed horses. He could repair, or make, most anything. When I went to his shop with my father, Mr. Petersen would always make me a horseshoe ring. Wish I had kept some of them. In my barn, I have the walls covered with hand-wrought tools for blacksmithing, plus many items made by blacksmiths.

When hammering out a piece of iron on the anvil, the blacksmith told his helper, “When I nod my head, you hit it.” The funeral was the next day.

John R. Heath, Sullivan, Ohio

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