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Working Life


William MacLellan in Sandyhills smithy



Portrait of blacksmith William MacLellan in Sandyhills smithy. Dr Werner Kissling, 1959.


This is a portrait of blacksmith William MacLellan leaning against the wall of his smithy, smoking a pipe. Dr Kissling noted that:


'Mr MacLellan, blacksmith at Sandyhills, is generally working for farmers and tradesmen on agricultural machinery and ornamental gates, horse-shoeing being now limited to a low average of horses throughout the year. The virtual elimination of the farm horse by the tractor is affecting the blacksmith.'


Changes in farming impacted the kind of work blacksmiths did but at the time this photograph was taken they were still making and mending tools, machinery, and decorative iron work.


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
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Dumfries & Galloway Council