Rights, Responsibilities
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 Blacksmiths were very important in the middle ages. They made weapons, armor,  decoration for the "modern" medieval household, keys, chains (left), and many other tools that were needed in an average town. A blacksmith would use certain tools (below right) similar to that of a goldsmith in order to melt the metals, combine them, (in some cases, such as pewter) and then shape them into the desired object. Some of these tools were anvils (used as a template on which to shape the object), hammers (used to flatten and shape metals), rasps, files, (used to smooth out rough edges) chisels, (used to sculpt and carve out details or designs on objects) pincers, (used to pinch, close, and twist metals) chasing tools, and drawplates. (These were used for making wire.) 

Also, in every blacksmith’s shop, there was a  furnace in which the metals would be heated, so that they were more manageable and could be bent, folded, or pinched into  the goal shape. The picture in the upper left is of an iron chain, and the picture to the right is of various tools that blacksmiths used. Anyone who wanted to become a blacksmith had to be prepared for a long, hard, sooty apprenticeship mostly spent next to a blazing fire. However, the blacksmith guild was very profitable because of the wide variety of products that the blacksmiths offered. 

Comments are requested, and quite welcome: Allyson Terry's email or Kacey Marton's email

  Page last updated: 04/11/2003 03:42