Blacksmith & Tinsmith Shop

Blacksmith Shop

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In the mid-1850's, the Blacksmith Shop became the new reality and was the unofficial social centre at which to catch up on world events and local news. 

A Blacksmith (also known as a Smith) made and repaired iron objects by hammering them by hand on an anvil.  He first heated the iron to a red glow in a forge, which was kept hot by hand-operated bellows.  Then the Smith could shape and weld objects like hinges, latches & irons, farm & household tools as well as utensils.  Perhaps the most important articles that Smiths made in the past were horseshoes to protect the feet of horses and these Smiths (who shod horses) were called "ferriers", which came from a Latin word meaning "of iron". 

The automobile and mass-production methods practically eliminated the Blacksmiths of yesteryear, however, Henry W. Longfellow has immortalized the craftsman in his poem "The Village Blacksmith".  

The PTM Blacksmith Shop was built on site in the 1990's to serve as a Blacksmith / Tinsmith Shop and has two forges on display. Both use coal and the bellows forge although not in use, is often pointed out during demonstrations due to its unique aspects. It is a wind-making machine and is used to fan flames to intensify their heat. The bellows of a Blacksmith Shop has two compartments formed by three boards and soft, airtight leather sides and by a simple arrangement of weights, levers and valves, air is first drawn into the lower compartment, then into the upper and finally expelled through a nozzle facing the forge, so the two compartments permit a continuous current of air. The crank-fan forge is the other forge on display and is the one that the PTM Blacksmith most often uses and does his demonstrations with.

At the Pembina Threshermen’s Museum shop, you will notice blacksmith equipment along the north wall and tinsmith equipment along the south wall (donated by Mr. Hruda in Gretna) and volunteers permitting, the PTM is pleased to offer Blacksmith demonstrations during Heritage Day in June, Pioneer Days throughout the summer and Reunion Days on the Labour Day weekend (Aug/Sept).

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