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Working Life


Drawing a clip in Hardhills smithy



Blacksmith Tom Anderson and an apprentice at work in Hardhills smithy, Castle Douglas. Dr Werner Kissling, 1959.

This photograph shows blacksmith Tom Anderson and his unidentified apprentice at work in Hardhills smithy. They are 'drawing' a clip onto the toe of a horseshoe. The clip helped to keep the shoe in position on the horse's hoof.


The apprentice is acting as 'striker' with a fore-hammer. The blacksmith is using another hammer to shape the shoe whilst it clamped against the anvil with tongs held in his other hand.


The tail of the horse can just be seen to the left of the photograph. Dr Kissling has captured the intense glow of the steel as it is worked.


Dr Werner Kissling (1895-1988) was a German photographer and ethnographer who spent most of his life documenting Scottish crafts, architecture, and agricultural practices. He was associated with Dumfries Museum from the mid-1950s until his death in 1988.


With thanks to the School of Scottish Studies Archives for additional information.

Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
LS/KISSLING COLLECTION, blacksmithing/10
Digital Number:
Creation Date:
Dumfries & Galloway Council