Bob Lussier

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The Blacksmith Shop

Published September 29th, 2013

Once a year the restored 19th century blacksmith shop at the Lawrence History Center comes back to life. A team of blacksmiths from the Granite State Hammer Alliance take over the shop to produce period iron tools and fittings. I had the pleasure of photographing blacksmith Richard Wright and Steve Ash, two traditional artisans on that day.

I observed as they kept a stream of schoolchildren (1st to 3rd grade) mesmerized by smoke, fire and science of their craft. They took questions from the kinds and fired back a few of their own.

It went like this:

Blacksmith: "How hot do you think this fire is?"

School kid #1: "A thousand degrees!"

Blacksmith: "Higher."

School kid #2: "A million degrees!"

Blacksmith: "Lower."

It was that kind of fun.

The History Center preserves the genealogy of the city of Lawrence, the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America and the nation's first planned city. The hold the original city records, and plans. They have an extensive library of photograp ...

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