Modern Blacksmithing Rational Horse Shoeing and Wagon Making

with rules, tables, recipes, etc., useful to manufactures, blacksmiths, machinists, well-drillers, engineers, liverymen, horse-shoers, farmers, wagon-makers, mechanics, amateurs and all others who have occasion to perform the work for which this book is primarily intended. by J.G. Homstrom 1901


One of the chief reasons why the blacksmith is not so successful nor respected as before is his intemperance. The danger for the smith becoming a drunkard is greater than for any other mechanic. It is often the case that when a customer pays a bill the smith is requested to treat. This is a bad habit and quite a tax on the smith. Just think of it-fifteen cents a day spent for liquor, will, in twenty-five years, amount to $9,000. Then add to this fifteen cents a day for cigars, which will, in twenty-five years, amount to $9,000 at ten per cent compound interest. If these two items would be saved, it will give a man a farm worth $18,000 in twenty-five years. How many smiths are there who ever think of this? I would advise every one to put aside just as much as he spends for liquor and tobacco; that is, when you buy cigars or tobacco for twenty-five cents put aside as much. When you buy liquor for one dollar put aside one dollar. Try this for one year and it will stimulate to continual effort in that direction. The best thing to do is to "swear off" at once, and if you must have it, take it out of business hours.

Politely inform your friends that you must stop, or it will ruin you. If you drink with one you must drink with another, and the opportunity comes too often. When you have finished some difficult work you are to be treated j when you trust you are to be treated; when you accommodate one before another you are to be treated; when you order the stock from the traveling man you are to be treated. Some smiths keep a bottle in a corner to draw customers by; others tap a keg of beer every Saturday for the same purpose. No smith will ever gain anything by this bad practice. He will only get undesirable customers, and strictly temperance people will shun him for it. What he gains on one side he will lose on another. Besides this he will in the long run ruin himself physically and financially. Let the old smith quit and the apprentice never begin this dangerous habit. A smith that is drunk or half drunk cannot do his duty to his customers, and they know it, and prefer to patronize a sober smith.