I like watching TV shows such as "Mountain Men", it makes me appreciate the times I live in. I don't know if I could live on a homestead now, no matter how much I might want to escape the traffic and "business" of the big city.
One person on "Mountain Men" is a blacksmith. He made me wonder what my 4th g-grandfather had to do in the mid-1800's. He was a blacksmith in Mississippi and Arkansas. And that's about all I know about him.
John Pollock was born in 1800 in Kentucky and from his picture he reminds me of my grandfather. These artisians were called blacksmiths because they forged the black metal which is iron after it was heated and smith comes from the Proto-German "smithaz" which means skilled worker. According to a blacksmithing website the blacksmiths in the 1800s were more skilled and more in demand (of course!). The work was not always perfect since it was done by hand. Blacksmiths of today use machines and technology to obtain the near perfect tools they make. Blacksmiths like my g-grandfather used everyday metals like iron and steel. Today's blacksmiths use everything including aluminum.
Blacksmithing is considered an art that very few people have been able to master. Blacksmiths did more than just make shoes for horses as is shown on TV westerns. They made nails and tools like hoes and shovels to plows and anything else made from metal that was needed.
"Blacksmithing 101" URL: https://greatexpectationsblacksmithdob.weebly.com/