Although there are numerous legendary accounts
of the important position occupied by' the blacksmith, and the
honors accorded him even at a period as remote in the world's
history as the time of King Solomon, strange to relate there is
no single work in the language devoted solely to the practice of
the blacksmith's art.
Occasional chapters on the subject may be found,
however, in mechanical books, as well as brief essays in
encyclopedias. While fragmentary allusions to this important
trade have from time to time appeared in newspapers and
magazines, no one has ever attempted anything like an exhaustive
work on the subject; perhaps none is possible.
This paucity of literature concerning a branch
of the mechanic arts, without which other trades would cease to
exist from lack of proper tools, cannot be attributed to a want
of intelligence on the part of the disciples of Vulcan.
It is perfectly safe to assert, that, in this
respect blacksmiths can hold their own with mechanics in any
other branch of industry.
The Rev. Robt. Colyer, pastor of the
leading Unitarian Church in New York City, started in life as a
blacksmith, and while laboring at the forge, began the studies
which have since made him famous.
why no attempt has ever been made to write a book on
blacksmithing, it would be difficult to explain. It is not
contended that in the following pages anything like a complete
consideration of the subject will be undertaken.
For the most part the matter has been taken from
the columns of The Blacksmith and Wheelwright, to which it was
contributed by practical men from all parts of the American
continent. The Blacksmith and Wheelwright, it may be observed,
is at present the only journal in the world which makes the art
of blacksmithing an essential feature.
Published in New York by M. T. Richardson, 1888