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acksmiths and their Calling.

Blacksmiths and other ironworkers should be very proud of their calling. Gold has been called the most precious of metals, and so admitted ; but, as between gold and iron, the world could better dispense with gold. Of course we could exist without either ; but to be without iron would carry us back centuries and paralyse thousands upon thousands of industries, and take away nearly all the great inventions of modern civilisation. This can readily be comprehended when once attention is called to the fact. The antiquity of iron is an unsettled question, but we have mention of it m the earliest records, and from all times the workers m iron have been held m high esteem, and ofttimes considered chief among the many. The Greeks had their Vulcan and the Hebrews their Tubal Cain. Even m the wilds of Africa Dr Livingston discovered workers m iron, and the novel method they had of working it was surprising. The modern forge is an improvement over the bellows, but the latter, of course, should not be mentioned m the same breath with the rude contrivance of the Africans—an earthen forge, covered with two blow-pipes, acting without any tuyeres, but attached to two upright boxes or valves. In these valves the operator places pistons, which he works up and down alternately with either hand, and thus forces a continuous blast. It is rude but ingenious, and works reasonably well. A stone near by answers the purpose of an anvil. In early times the glory of the ironworker lay m the fact that he was the maker of swords, spears, and other implements of War. War was tho principal occupation of people then ; might was right, and woe to the captives. Now the scene is changed. The world is peaceful. Agriculture, commerce, and the mechanical arts furnish the chief sources of livelihood, and m all these the ironworker lends, a helping hand. The farmer's implements are made by the ironworker, his horses are shod (occasionally) by the ironworker; the wheels of commerce are accelerated by his efforts. Without him it would be the slov ox-team of yore, while he almost, if not actually, personifies.machinery. Verily, the legend attributing to the ironworker the seat at the right of King Solomon, at the dedication of the great temple, is but further proof of that wise monarch's truly wonderful wisdom.—Blacksmith and Millwright. Wednesday's express will connect a Lyttelton with the Jubilee for Wellington and Sydney, ami mails will close at Ashburton at 6 20 a. m.

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Bibliographic details

acksmiths and their Calling., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2506, 1 September 1890

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acksmiths and their Calling. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2506, 1 September 1890