Today Sean and Sylvia and I went to visit Mom and Dad. I was delighted to discover that Mom has since restored her father's vintage hand-cranked forge, which he used decades ago to make horseshoes.
Mom cleaned off the thick layer of grime that hid most of the forge's features. Today, it looks brand new.
Here, Mom demonstrates how the forge was used. Turning the crank blows air up into the forge's bowl, which is normally filled with red-hot coals. Unfortunately the anvil, hammer and tongs are long lost, but we still have the original ladle, though it hasn't yet been polished up as finely as the pieces you see here.
It's amazing to think that just two generations ago, back on the farm in Virden, my grandfather was forging tools in much the same manner as humans did thousands of years ago.