William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan
Finding aid for
Finding aid created by
Bustleton (Pa.) Blacksmith's Account Book, 1851-1858
Naomi Herman-Aplet and Meg Hixon, December 2011
Bustleton (Pa.) Blacksmith's account book
This volume contains the financial records of an anonymous blacksmith from Bustleton, Pennsylvania, kept between January 8, 1851, and August 14, 1858. The records include customers' names, as well as the types of items purchased and the costs of individual goods and services.
The material is in English
William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Access and Use
The collection is open for research.
Copyright status is unknown
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Bustleton (Pa.) Blacksmith's Account Book, William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan
The 1850s were a time of significant change in traditional blacksmithing in Pennsylvania, as new fuels and materials led to changes in mining practices and as many shops introduced new labor-saving tools, increasingly purchased rather than produced by individual blacksmiths themselves. Industrial production began to limit demand for handmade products, leading smiths to diversify their talents and offerings; many, for example, began making parts to repair manufactured goods, such as wagons.
Collection Scope and Content Note
This volume (193 pages) contains the financial records of an anonymous blacksmith from Bustleton, Pennsylvania, kept between January 8, 1851, and August 14, 1858. The records include customers' names, as well as the types of items purchased and the costs of individual goods and services. Most of the records relate to items made of iron, including bolts, spokes, and irons, and many reflect the construction of wagons or carriages and their component pieces, such as axles and seats. Some entries mention additional goods and services, which often related to wagon repair. Two frequent customers included Thomas Wistar (p. 119) and the Philadelphia County Prison (p. 108). In addition to these records, a note in the front of the volume records that the author "put the cow to pasture at Wm. White's July 31st 1854," and several entries at the back reflect small loans to various individuals. The volume also contains a recipe for black varnish.
- Bustleton (Philadelphia, Pa)
- Philadelphia (Pa.)--Commerce.
Additional Descriptive Data
Lasansky, Jeannette. To Draw, Upset, & Weld: The work of the Pennsylvania Rural Blacksmith 1742-1935. Pennsylvania State University Press, 1980.