There is nothing more frustrating than being stuck on the side of the road when your car’s tire goes flat. You have someplace to be, and now you have to wait for a tow truck to help you change the tire or bring you to a garage. Imagine how much worse it could be if instead of a car, you were traveling in a horse drawn carriage. Just like modern transportation, their wheels broke and their horses would become incapable of pulling your cart if they broke a shoe. Back then, there was no tow truck, but your garage would’ve been the local blacksmith.
R.W. MacDonald was Norwell’s blacksmith and wheelwright at the turn of the 20th century. They would shoe horses, fix carriages and wheels, and do other projects that required molding metal to a custom form. These days it’s not as easy to find blacksmiths and farriers (horse shoe specialists), but when you get the chance to watch them work, it’s like stepping back in time.
We’d love to hear about your family’s experiences with pre-car transportation. Did they have a horse and buggy? Who was their blacksmith? Are you a current blacksmith or farrier? Send us pictures and stories to Wicked Local Media Solutions or tweet us @WLMediaSolution.
Photo from Digital Commonwealth.