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Whitesmiths Shop

Ever heard of one?

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Adam Mara29/09/2019 21:52:10
112 forum posts
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My grandfather purchased an existing Ironmongers shop in 1900. I have the stocklist from February 1900 lisiting all the rooms and their contents, and every room from cellars to attics were packed with goods! These including the blacksmiths shop, the tinsmiths shop and a whitesmiths shop, something I had never heard off. It appears it was a like a tinsmiths shop but doing finer work.

The company moved in 1905, but there was still a tinsmiths shop in the late 40s, I remember there being a forge, and patterns for pans hanging on the walls, and I have memories of hectic times at Christmas of the tinsmith making roasting tins. When the tinsmith retired the equipment fell into disuse, and was eventually sold off, apart from the guillotine, which is still used daily in the current business now run by his great grandsons.

vintage engineer29/09/2019 21:56:17
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Yes as a retired blacksmith I once had a long discussion with a black gentleman as why I wasn't a whitesmith! Whitesmiths work with"white" metals, eg, tin, zinc, pewter. and lead.

Speedy Builder530/09/2019 06:50:11
2080 forum posts
145 photos

When I was apprenticed at Vickers Armstrongs Aircraft Weybridge 1963 onwards, The tinsmiths worked sheet material like Al alloy and stainless steel, and the Coppersmiths worked tubes. The Blacksmiths worked heavy iron not destined for aircraft eg tooling etc.

Neil Wyatt30/09/2019 10:32:19
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My maternal grandfather was a coppersmith in the RAF.

Not just tubes - he did lost wax casting and other things involving copper alloys (brasses and bronzes) as far as I can understand

Neil

Edited By Neil Wyatt on 30/09/2019 10:33:54

ega30/09/2019 10:56:52
1790 forum posts
153 photos
Posted by vintage engineer on 29/09/2019 21:56:17:

Yes as a retired blacksmith I once had a long discussion with a black gentleman as why I wasn't a whitesmith! Whitesmiths work with"white" metals, eg, tin, zinc, pewter. and lead.

Was he from Rhodesia, by chance?

larry phelan 130/09/2019 14:57:00
806 forum posts
14 photos

Ega, I like that one ! I really do !

Bill Davies 230/09/2019 15:05:00
197 forum posts
11 photos

'Whitesmith' also referred (confusingly) to craftsmen who finishes (e.g. polished) ferrous metals.

It's a bit like the confusion caused by the recent naming of silver solder, which seems to be the term for lead free soft solders (containing silver, not just the tin and copper variety), as against our familiar hard silver solder.

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