To begin with it was the violence of the society around him which provided a market for the blacksmiths skills. The end products of his labours to be weapons and armoury, for the local squire and his dwelling. The tradition of decorative ironwork and grilles grew out of the need to secure buildings. The wrought iron gate is a direct descended of  the portcullis. 

                       As time went on and iron became more readily available, the smith found himself making and repairing a huge variety of products. For the farmer there were ploughshares and hoes, shovels and scythes. For the cottager there were candle holders, locks, hinges and fire irons, even toys for the children. He made the tools for the "Thatcher" and "Mason", "Carpenter" and "Coach Builder". One of his most frequent jobs was to provide the metal tyres for vast wagon wheels. He also shod horses. In an age utterly dependent on horses for power and transport, this latter function spawned a specialized type of blacksmithing , "farriery", although most general smiths could shoe horses also. 



The industrial revolution was the beginning of an inexorable decline for the village smithy .Tools and utensils became mass –produced and horse-power gave way to steam. Just before and during World-War 2 the introduction of tractors on to farms cut the horse population by half and made the blacksmith largely redundant. 
    Faced with a drop in demand for their services some smitties became garages, others specialized in decorative ironwork. Farriers took to the road, and other smiths found employment in larger concerns like foundries and  quarries. Even when the hearth was still alight, there was change. Electric fans replaced bellows, electric drill and grinder replaced the hand-held tools. The skills of the blacksmith are still practiced in some places, but the traditional village smithy, meeting-place, hive of industry , universal repair-shop and general manufacturer  is no more.

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