Blacksmiths are well known for making horse shoes and tools, but smiths worked in all types of industry including railways and shipyards and made parts for machinery.
Rural smiths made items that are traditionally associated with blacksmiths such as horse shoes, plough shares, spades and scythes. In more urban areas smiths made parts for canal barges and wheels for carriages. There were also more specialized smiths such as lock smiths, chain smiths and anchor smiths.
After the Industrial Revolution there were more specialized smiths working in different areas of industry. They worked in rail shops making railway axles, wagon and parts for trains. Ship smiths worked in shipyards making parts for ships. Smiths were also used for jobs such as mending and sharpening miners' picks and repairing and building machines for the engineering and textile industries.
Smiths, strikers and hammermen all belonged to the Blacksmiths' union, click here to find out more about the union.
Sources for family history in our collection
Associated Blacksmiths, Forge and Smithy Workers Society
The following information can be found in the quarterly and annual reports
We do not hold reports for the years 1921-1923, 1927, 1929, 1930, 1941-1948, 1951-1962.
After 1963 the Blacksmiths joined the Boilermakers' union, for information on family history see the boilermakers page.
|Obituaries||Name, age and cause of death||1920-1926|
|Benevolent and other grants||Name and monies received||1920-1950|
|Superannuation benefits||Name and monies received||1920-1950|
|New members||Name and age||1920|
|Branch secretaries||Name and address||1920-1926|
Resources about Blacksmiths in the Library collection
James Everett, The village blacksmith: a memoir of the life of Samuel Hick, of Micklefield, Yorkshire (no date) - Shelfmark: B08
Ian Niall, Country blacksmith (1966) - Shelfmark: A09