West Virginia State Farm Museum
In an effort to preserve our farm heritage and also to be a window to the past for future generations, the Farm Museum has completed a typical farm blacksmith shop on the museum grounds.
In bygone days, many craftsmen were dependent upon the blacksmith. The smithy would make an article according to his own design or follow the design of his patron. Some of these articles would include axes, hammers, adzes, plane bits, knives, sickles, scythes, auger bits, files, carving tools and numerous other items used by farmers and other craftsmen in their trades.
The smith was no less essential to transportation in the community. His skill and knowledge were an absolute requirement. He had to weld and fit wagon wheels and hub rings, shoe horses and make and fit the metal fittings of carriages and sleighs.
The village blacksmith was even called upon to furnish the ice skates of the children as well as the toy wagons and doll carriages.
The blacksmith shop at the museum has a fine collection of tools that rival those of any pioneer shop in the country. They include some 200 pairs of tongs; a working forge constructed on a stone base; a fire pot and a turn of the century, hand-cranked bellows. Other items include punches, chisels, fullers, hammers of various sizes, and a mandrill for shaping and sizing rings.
Though blacksmithing had a rapid demise as the industrialization of the nation developed, it did not die out. It still smolders on the coals of the forge at the Farm Museum.
Pictures and information were provided by West Virginia State Farm Museum
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