Industrial Era

Knowledge Base > Industrial Era

The blacksmith in the Eighteenth century could create or repair almost everything of that time but perhaps his finest achievement was what is known as the American Ax. Sometime around 1700, the blacksmith included a rectangular poll on the back of ax, which further increased its weight. After that, the square poll was elongated, the ears were added to the eye and also the eye was changed from round to a triangle shape. This added to the stability in the swing of the ax and it has seen very minor change in the last 225 years.

By the 1830’s, more tools and hardware manufactured in specialized shops.

The factories outlets both in the United States and abroad were being sold in stores. Therefore, local community smiths were asked to make those items very less time. Blacksmiths were not more typically making nails but machineries were made. Prior to that period, stores sold large quantities of nails in pound as those nails were manufactured in particular manufactories. Machine-made nails were low cost and easily available through country stores.

There was a small amount of cash in circulation in the Eighteenth and early Nineteenth centuries. Therefore, the majority of people gave dollars and cents value to goods sold and services. Before the start of 20th century, every town and village had a minimum of one blacksmith shop. Small crossroads and hamlets might only had one shop but hectic towns and villages had a number of shops whereby they usually specialized in either farrier work or regular blacksmithing. The melodic poem was structured to emphasis on the hard-working nature of smith:


Week in, week out from moon till night,

You can hear his bellows blow.


Blacksmiths had sons and at least one of the sons would help his father in his trade, or they might employ other men to assist them. Very occasionally girls became blacksmiths. Mary Ann Hinman of Melton Mowbray worked in her father William’s forge and “excelled in the shoeing department, which she managed with admirable tact and skill. Widows of blacksmiths sometimes continued to run their husband’s businesses but usually employed men to do the work. Ann Briant was recorded in the census as “blacksmith employing 6 men” and. aged 78, was head of a business that included four sons, a grandson, and a lodger. Blacksmiths would be considered working class but as skilled craftsmen would have a higher status than unskilled laborers.