Thursday, March 19, 2009

Buckler and Barteaux Blacksmiths

A couple of days ago I posted an image of the former Annapolis Auto Station on St George Street. When I made this post I mentioned that the building had previously been used as a blacksmith shop and that the owners had gradually become mechanics. As I was digging through some files earlier today, I turned up this view of the same scene. The small building in front of the blacksmith shop was a taxi stand operated by Frank Ritchie. This picture was taken sometime around 1920.

The blacksmith was a key person in any community. In addition to their stereotyped role of shoeing horses and making nails, the blacksmith made or repaired countless items for the farm, fisheries or home. In a society where it was common to repair items rather than tossing them out and buying something new, the blacksmith was indispensable. Sadly, mechanization dealt a blow to blacksmiths. Cars replaced horses and nails were cut by machine. While we still have metal workers, most blacksmiths today are either artists, enthusiasts or working in a museum setting.

These images illustrates the benefits of archival photographs. The top image is the same scene as the image I posted a couple days ago but it is quite different. In the later image the flat roof is extended so that the building is rectangular. The small taxi stand in front has been replaced with a gas station. Without archival images documenting both of these scenes, this information would be lost today. This is especially true since this space is a park and parking lot today. These images also show what sorts of cars were in use in Annapolis Royal.

While I posted the image from the 1950s earlier in the week, I will include it in this post so that comparison between the images is easier.

All for now,
RGS

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