Subscribe to our mailing list

Our regular e-bulletin keeps you up-to-date about our news and activities, and occasionally re fundraising appeals. You can opt out at any time. Full details of how we look after data are available in our privacy policy on our Web site.

If you agree to being contacted in this way, click the ‘Subscribe’ button below. Your information will be sent to MailChimp for processing - https://mailchimp.com/legal/privacy.

* indicates required


blacksmiths trade union emblemBlacksmiths 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

Blacksmith's Rack, oil painting

Blacksmith's Rack

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.

  Information Dates
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