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Blacksmithing again
October 23, 2009 2:19 PM   Subscribe

A Day in the Life of a Blacksmith (start here) is the 1869-70 diary of an apprentice blacksmith in Medfield, Massachusetts, in blog form. Brought to you by the American Antiquarian Society and its new blog Past is Present.
posted by Horace Rumpole (15 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Blacksmithing again. Love this post.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:39 PM on October 23, 2009


It seems like in these old-timey diaries people wrote very casually, just in a different way than they do now. It made me think of all those times we've heard that the Internet is killing grammar and spelling. People have always written this way for themselves.
posted by amethysts at 3:42 PM on October 23, 2009


Bang me, bang me like a blacksmith.
posted by Lutoslawski at 4:08 PM on October 23, 2009


"Tires"? Who knew?

I've got me some kin folk from thereabouts and I'm pretty sure he was referencing at least one of them. Bit of a frisson, that. Thanks!
posted by IndigoJones at 4:15 PM on October 23, 2009


Blacksmithing again. Now who is the blacksmith? Anyone figured it out?
posted by Never teh Bride at 4:28 PM on October 23, 2009


Awesome site - thanks!
posted by chihiro at 4:37 PM on October 23, 2009


Man, I wish I played that much croquet.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 4:39 PM on October 23, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wish I played a fife that often.
posted by lazaruslong at 4:49 PM on October 23, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is pretty awesome.
posted by shinyshiny at 4:56 PM on October 23, 2009


Historical diaries and stories like these would really work better on a blogging software package that offered ascending chronological order. Not faulting the blogger as I remember a few years ago looking for this capability to post incremental additions to a story, and nothing out there would do it.
posted by crapmatic at 10:33 PM on October 23, 2009


I have to ask how they came to acquire such a thing and how difficult to find and/or expensive. I thought there should be a kind of market for personal diaries somewhere, but having googled around, never found such a thing. I would expect there were a lot of them written - not clear how long they survive.
posted by newdaddy at 1:10 AM on October 24, 2009


This is fascinating, thanks.
posted by tawny at 8:54 AM on October 24, 2009


I have to ask how they came to acquire such a thing....

Grandchildren or great grandchildren don't want to keep them, can't quite bring themselves to throwing them out (though that does happen too- I could tell you stories!) and not knowing what else the hell to do with them, pass them on to the local antiquarian society and hope the stuff sticks.

Such things do come up at auctions from time to time, but really, how to value such a thing? If it isn't a celeb, or the descriptions are mundane (i.e., not the battle of Gettysburg as seen by a citizen of the town), they're only going to be but so collectible.
posted by IndigoJones at 11:44 AM on October 24, 2009


It seems like in these old-timey diaries people wrote very casually, just in a different way than they do now. It made me think of all those times we've heard that the Internet is killing grammar and spelling. People have always written this way for themselves.

I'm not going to blame the Internet for today's terrible spelling. However, this guy is still leagues above CNN or YouTube's comment sections in terms of spelling and grammar. He's not anywhere close to "how is babby formed?"
posted by ignignokt at 9:00 PM on October 24, 2009


I don't know that I should be surprised, but he doesn't mention the Civil War at all. I guess it really was done with and not in people's heads very often, at least in Massachusetts, by then.

Or he's one of those guys that just avoids politics.
posted by ignignokt at 9:15 PM on October 24, 2009


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