Making chains

Chain Production

Closing the chain link

This is the kind of ‘cottage industry’ that was going on in the black country about 150 years ago, chain making. These are photos from a demo that I watched where a chain link was made for us.

My brother Paul was involved with installing this forge that is being used here from another site as an enginerring project in the late 70s. It would have been about the time when the museum was being set up.

I can also remember my gran talking about chain makers when she was a girl growing up in what was then a village called Lye.

Chain makers where paid by weight of chain produced, they worked at the forge for approx 6 hours a day and where paid above the average wage.

The finished chain link

The guy demoing the technique said that sight problems probably resulted from working with hot metal for such a long period. Here is the finished link.


3 comments on “Making chains

  1. Hercules says:

    Good pictures, lots of feeling. You can almost feel the heat.

  2. These photos and your writing bring back such memories for me as a kid, and traveling to the historic parts of the East Coast and seeing such things being reenacted. And I now live right down from “Blacksmith Alley” where a hundred years ago blacksmiths lived, Now it’s a wonderful dirt alley filled with my imagination every time I walk down it. Thanks so much for this post and great photos! 🙂

    • adurdesign says:

      Yes it was a blast from the past alright, I thought that the museum was well put together and has changed a lot since I last went. We also went down a drift mine which showed how the miners lived and worked, I didnt get any pics though as it was candle power only..

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