Early American Wrought Iron

By: Albert H. Sonn – Published: 1928

Early American Wrougth Iron

Price : $ – Amazon

Philip’s Ranking: 2
Beginner Blacksmith: 0
Advanced Blacksmith: 2
Inspiration: 3
Historical: 3

Video Review: N/A

If you’re like me you want to know about early American Wrought Iron so that you can use the work as inspiration for your own modern work and potentially recreate items that people used in their day to day lives.  How then does a  massive book that is almost completely drawings of early american wrought iron only get 3 out of 5 stars for Inspiration and Historical reference?

Let’s look at what’s actually in the book.  

  • Early American Door Hardware: Pages 17-31 (text)
  • Early American Door Hardware: Pages 38-263 (plates/drawings)
  • Early American Hinges, Hasps, Bolts, and Doors: Pages 8-14 (text)
  • Early American Hinges, Hasps, Bolts, and Doors: Pages 16-205 (plates/drawings)
  • Balcones and Braces, Railings and Newels, Gates, Grilles, Etc. 20-81 (plates/drawings)
  • Weather Vanes, Wall Anchors, Gutter Supports, Foot-Scrapers, Shutter-Fasteners: Pages 82-181 (plates/drawings)
  • Andirons, Fireplace Accessories, Household Articles, Kitchen Utensils, Lighting Equipment, Miscellaneous Articles: Pages 182-237 (plates/drawings)

So out of some 705 pages 649 of them are related to door hardware, hinges, balcones, and outdoor iron fittings.  A mere 55 pages are dedicated to projects covering the sort of work most non-professional blacksmiths are going to be making.  That’s not to say that there is no use for the other 649 pages there is a lot of inspiration that can be drawn from how a door knocker is designed even if you aren’t making a door knocker but it’s good to know what you’re getting with this book.

If you are wanting to make hinges for a door or chest or build railing then this is an amazing resource. Hundreds of pages dedicated to different designs and works will give you endless hours of material to pour over.  If you are wanting to forge a candle stick you’ve got 7 examples on one page out of seven hundred pages.

It should be noted that the ironwork shown is exclusively from the American east coast so southern and western ironwork is not covered at all. 

For the right reader this book is essential if you aren’t that person though then I’d skip this book.