The Historical Edition of
the Baldur Gazette from March 14, 1940 in recalling the earliest
businesses established in the new village of Baldur notes that:
“G. W. Cramer built a blacksmith shop, manned by Harry Goodman, who had
deserted his trade to go on a homestead five miles east of town” Thus
he first two blacksmith shops in Baldur in 1890, were operated by Harry
Goodman and Wm. McKnight. Harry Goodman's blacksmith shop sat
where The Baldur Hotel is now situated. He lived in a house to the
north of it. Harry and his son Frank, worked at blacksmithing there
until 1911, when Alex Mitchell bought the shop and house.
Mr. Goodman served as blacksmith for many years. He af-terwards moved
to Transcona where he became foreman in the car shops of the C.N.
Adapted from Come into our Heritage, page 152.
A Day in the Life of a Blacksmith
For the early settlers, the blacksmith was perhaps the most essential
tradesman. Not only did he make the iron parts for the
first farming implements, he also could repair all iron objects by
hammering them by hand on an anvil.
After heating the iron until white-hot, the blacksmith would then shape
and wield a multitude of objects from it, including
carriage bolts and wheels, iron work, cooking utensils, and most
Blacksmiths who made horseshoes were called farriers, derived from the
Latin word for iron. At a time when horses were the
only means of transport, the blacksmith was important to not only
individual farmers and travelers, but also to merchants
whose businesses depended on transporting their goods to other places.
Also, because they spent much of their time shoeing horses, blacksmiths
gained a considerable amount of knowledge about equine diseases.
The new industrial output of the late 1800s allowed the smith to
improve his shop. With a small boiler, steam engine, and a
system of overhead shafts, pulleys, and leather belts, the formerly
hand operated shop equipment like the post drill, the blower, and other
equipment could he easily powered. The small belt powered machines like
the Little Giant trip hammer
or its blacksmith built counterpart took its place in many small shops.
Later, the "steam" part of the steam driven leather belt
systems were replaced with small gasoline engines or electric motors.
In time, many power hammers were fitted with their
own electric motors.
Many blacksmiths were manufacturers as well.Wagon boxes, the setting of
wagon and buggy tyres, lathe turned parts for spinning wheels, the
single bob manure sleigh, the making of sleigh runners, bolsters, bunks
and tongues, and the custom manufacture of truck transfer boxes with
cattle hauling equipment were some of the items fabricated with finesse
befitting the labourers. Always, along with the aforesaid, there were
the innumerable interruptions to repair broken machinery as is
wont to happen in a mixed farming area.
Thiis Buffalo Forge advertising card shows an "old" brick forge and
bellows and a "new" style forge and blower.
Note the hood at th back of the new forge.