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Bottom Swage
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Title: Bottom Swage
Identifier: X964.100.85
Donor: Marjorie Twitchell
Item Date: 1800 1900
Creation Date: 2012
Location: Bradley Museum

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Description: Semicircular metal tool painted red with a short iron rod attached to it.

This tool was used by a blacksmith for rounding metal. The tool would be set into a hole in the anvil, then the hot metal that is being formed is placed on top of the rounding tool; another tool is then set on top of the metal. Could be a swage or a fuller.

The first blacksmiths in Canada were brought in by the Hudson's Bay Company in the 1670s. Most of these men were from England and helped build trading posts as well as make and repair goods. Early blacksmiths were considered artisans, developing their craft into a refined skill. By the 1850s, blacksmith shops were becoming very common and one blacksmith did all the ironwork; the product was less refined and individual craftsmen were few and far between. Blacksmiths were particularly important in newly developed towns, especially if they were near a railway line. The blacksmith was responsible for shoeing horses and repairing wagon wheels; they were also responsible for making and repairing all tools for agriculture, cattle rearing, fishing, forestry, heating, transportation, decoration and surveying.
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