Blacksmiths often made or repaired items that farmers used in their homes. A blacksmith made the metal blade on this chopping knife and attached a wooden handle as well.
While dental cavities were sometimes filled with gold or silver during the early nineteenth century, decaying teeth were often removed. This item is called a tooth key and was used in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries to remove molars, the large back teeth. The small, curved, metal arms at the base were set around the affected tooth, and the doctor or dentist grasped the wooden handle at the top. They then twisted and pulled until the tooth loosened and came out.
Horseshoes were very common in a blacksmith’s shop. The blacksmith would not only make the shoes by hammering and shaping hot iron, but he would also assist farmers by putting the shoes on their horses.
Threshing (also known as thrashing), refers to the method of separating grain from its outer hull, called chaff. Until the mid-nineteenth century, the farmer usually threshed by hand, swinging a flail against the grain on the barn floor to open the grain. The introduction of steam and animal-powered machinery in the mid to late nineteenth century, brought convenience to the process.