Blacksmithing is an ancient profession which began over six thousand years ago. It is the craft of forging and shaping iron with a hammer and anvil. The work of the blacksmith allowed for advances in transportation and industry by providing the tools, weapons, and hardware needed by society.
In the 19th century, the blacksmith's most important function was to supply farm, Transportation and household tools for the local community. He made hammers, axes, adzes, knives, scythes, and sickles for the farmers, the plane bits and carving tools for the carpenters. His skill and techniques were required to weld and fit wagon wheels, hub rings, shoe horses, and to make all the metal bits and pieces of wagons and carriages. He provided the housewife with andirons and fireplace cooking utensils as well as outfitting the children with ice skates and rolling hoops.
The blacksmith reigned at his forge as the king of craftsmen. Throughout the early 20th century, blacksmithing was regarded as a highly specialized skill. Although the need for the blacksmith was diminished with the advent of new materials and the factory production of metal parts, the craft still lives and is practiced by many in blacksmithing guilds throughout the century.
This blacksmith shop is based on a existing historic shop located on the Robert Trueman farm in Acquasco, Maryland. Mr. Truman's great uncle John Trueman, built this shop around 1890 and it was used until 1944 by Wilton W. Trueman.