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
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The blacksmiths and horse shoers have at last put the thinking cap on, for the purpose of bettering their condition. So far nothing has been accomplished, but I am sure it will, in the long run, if they only keep at it. We are now living in the license craze age. From the saloon keeper down to the street peddler, they all howl for license, and unreasonable as it is, thousands of sensible men will cling to it in hopes that it will help. We are, more or less, one-idea men, with fads and whims. Nations and organizations are just like individuals, ready to fall into a craze and we see it often. It is natural when we consider that nations and organizations are simple one man repeated so many times.
Simply look at the hero-worshiping craze went through at the close of the Spanish war. First, Lieutenant Hobson was the idol, and great was he, far off in Cuba. But, coming home, he made himself obnoxious on a tour through the country, and the worshipers were ashamed of their idol, as well as of themselves. Admiral Dewey was the next hero to be idolized, and he, too, was found wanting. Physicians have their favorite prescriptions, ministers their favorite sermons. Politicians have their tariff and free trade whims, their gold or silver craze. Mechanics have their one ideal way of doing their work. I know horse shoers that have such faith in bar shoes that they believe it will cure everything from contraction to heaves. Others have such a faith in toe weight that they will guarantee that in a horse shod this way the front quarters will run so fast that they must put wheels under the hind feet to enable them to keep up with the front feet; and in a three mile race the front quarters will reach the stables in time to feed on a peck of oats before the hind quarters catch up. In some States there is a union craze. All that these schemes will do is to prepare the legislatures for the legislation that will some day be asked of them.
Unions have been organized and the objections are the same. I object to all these schemes because they fall short of their purpose. Two years ago the horse-shoers of Minnesota asked the legislature to give them a license law. I wrote to a prominent member of the House of Representatives and asked him to put his influence against the measure. H6 did so, with the result that the bill was killed so far as the counties and smaller towns were concerned. Such a law will only provide for an extra tax on the poor smiths and horse-shoers, and his chances of making a living will not be bettered, because no one will be shut out, no matter how incompetent.