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The Village Blacksmith: The Reality of a Poem

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Power Loom Weaving Early in the Century

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Power Loom Weaving Early in the Century / Maine Historical Society

By 1842 the industrial revolution was well under way. Longfellow's father-in-law Francis Appleton was part of the money behind the Lowell mills. So what was Longfellow really saying? The Blacksmith, a staple of each rural community was the handy man or fix-it man of every town. For people who did not have access to a multitude of new products, repairing the old tools and implements was always very important. However by 1842, as displayed in Sturbridge Village, people wanted products like their neighbors had. They wanted access to similar, mass produced goods. Due to increased production, easier travel and different consumer wants, the blacksmith's role was rapidly diminishing.


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