Wrought Iron was a prominent material which was used in Colonial times. Wrought iron items were forged by blacksmiths during the that period in America. Fabricating domestic items, tools, and hardware. Blacksmiths were vital to colonial life and the success of a community in colonial America... whenever there was a need for something that possessed strength & durability, the blacksmith made it; from the simple nails to more complex items such as skip jacks.They 1st acquired the iron that they used, in the same manner in which they did with all the other items that they depended on England for... a hardship due to the fact that they often had to wait for long periods, for ships to deliver many of the goods they used. This of course continued, until they were able to locate sources of iron ore in this country; and were no longer dependent. Objects necessary for every day living included: cookware, tools, (including the ones used in blacksmithing), door handles & hardware, (such as hinges or latches), candle holders & lanterns, as well as construction materials. Although blacksmiths laid down the tools that they used to render the objects they fabricated long ago, during the Colonial period in America, the quality of their workmanship can still be found in homes that still exist today. Home renovations are common uses for antique and period Colonial wrought iron items, which are also prized by collectors, many of whom are blacksmiths; still manufacturing products made of wrought iron, using traditional methods.
Colonial Wrought Iron is a photographic survey of early wrought iron work in America with 506 photographs from the Sorber Collection. The colonial period in America was centered around the blacksmith who was the maker and creator of these items. The informational text explains the characteristics and the conditions of the period in which the iron was forged. Colonial Wrought Iron is an invaluable resource tool for the blacksmith involved making reproduction hardware and related items, as well as an inspiration for merging form and function. In this book you will find the commonplace and the ornate but they all reflect the hand of fine craftsmanship.The work displayed in Colonial Wrought Iron is from the collection of Jim Sorber. Jim, now in his eighties, has been an avid collector for 70 years. This collection is a result of a life steeped in an enduring appreciation for the skills of his ancestors. Even as a child he was interested in their hand tools and the wonderful things they made. That interest soon grew into a passion.A unique aspect of Jims collection is that it reflects a certain ethnic influence. Much of his collecting has been done near his home in the counties of Berks, Chester, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Montgomery and Schuylkill. This area has been settled by German immigrants since the mid-to-late 17th century. Jim's collection, many pieces of which are signed and dated, reflects an iron chronicle of the Pennsylvania Dutch migration westward from the Philadelphia area.