Blacksmiths tend to be associated with shoeing horses but in Victorian times, when this photograph was taken, their roles were much more varied. Virtually every village had one and they were commonplace in towns and cities as, before the days of mass-produced consumer goods, the local blacksmith would make almost any metal object that you might need, from kitchen utensils to garden gates. They still exist, of course, and are now regarded as highly-skilled artisans. These two smiths must have had complete trust in each other, as getting it wrong would have hurt a lot!
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