Blacksmiths, etc. historic titles for craftsman

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Blacksmiths, etc. historic titles for craftsman

Postby shiffd » 17 Mar 2017 04:34

First I want to apologize if I am posting this is the wrong place.
I am new to this forum and an (aspiring) author doing a lot of research about historical weapons, combat etc. I have followed the youtube offerings for some time now and I am a huge fan and greatful for the information regularly shared.

My question here is about blacksmiths, metal-smiths, locksmiths, clock-smiths, weapon-smiths and engineers etc.

I'm hoping there may be some individuals on these forums with direct links to metal work traditions, that could shed some light on the titles that would be used for different craftsman and how they overlapped (or didn't).

So I'll get to my question. I've done some research already but rather than making assumptions I'll just ask the most basic, uninformed question as it first started for me.=

(Time period- Basically 1800 and earlier, all the way back to the roots.)
When siege weaponry was crafted, that employed simple machines like cranks etc.. For example Ballista, catapults etc. Similarly for items that may have been used in torture like racks or iron maidens etc.=

What types of craftsman were employed? What were they called? What other types of crafts may they have been employed to do/skilled with?

Follow up questions=
For example would black-smiths who forged armor or weaponry ever be (are there historical cases) of overlapping into machinery. The same question for locksmiths. Are there any links between machinery and locksmiths? What was the overlap with carpenters and architects and engineers/blackmiths/metalsmiths, for example those who built the actual castles, draw-bridges. I know it's a broad range but I am very interested in how these different crafts/technologies developed, how they did (or didn't) overlap and what specific titles were used for the craftsman. What did they call themselves and what were they known as. In some of my research I have discovered that many crafts were passed down in families, builds or master-apprentice such that it was much like a martial art with a specific lineage and names of the craftsman and his lineage being as important or prominent as the name of the trade or technology itself. In other cases things were passed by use of documentation, diagram etc. Basically that there are cases that the lineage and technology were one in the same basically and passed orally/practically and cases where the technology was literate...and a lot of overlap of (oral, practical and literary transmission). Anyway I am fascinated by this stuff and just searching for as much information as I can on it.

I'm attempting to write historical fiction that includes and talks about characters who were responsible for the creation and maintenance of historical warfare but in the background. The guys who made the stuff the soldiers and rulers employed in war. There is a lot on this site about personal arms, so I don't need to ask those questions much (just read)- but I am interested in stuff talked about less often, large machines, domestic use items, locks, gates, walls, torture devices, castles, wagons, chariots...all of that stuff.

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Re: Blacksmiths, etc. historic titles for craftsman

Postby Dan Howard » 07 Apr 2017 13:45

Guild structures were very rigid. Craftsmen had very narrow fields of work and it was largely forbidden to encroach on another craftsman's field. An armourer would not be permitted to make weaponry and a weaponsmith would not be permitted to make siege engine components.

For example there were around a dozen different craftsmen involved in various stages of making mail armour and they could only take part in that one stage. Each operation took place in its own individual workshop of 2-5 people. There were whole towns in southern Germany and northern Italy devoted to making nothing except mail armour.

Bloomsmiths make iron and forge it into billets
Billets get sold to rod makers who hammer the billets into rods.
Billets get sold to plateners who hammer the billets into plates.
Rods get sold to wire drawers who draw the rods into wire
Plates get sold to link makers who punch out solid links from the plate
Wire gets sold to different link makers who turn the wire into open links
Scrap metal gets sold to rivet makers who turn the scrap into rivets
Links and rivets get sold to maileurs who weave the links into sheets of mail.
Sheets of mail get sold to armourers to tailor the mail into armour
Mail armour gets sent to a tailor and/or leather worker who is contracted to finish the mail with linings, points, and fittings.
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