From blacksmith to mechanic

Each village had at least one blacksmith among its inhabitants in the 19th century. These ironworkers were designated differently according to the purpose of their work: blacksmith if he repaired or made tools, blacksmith if he cared for and shoed animals, wheelwright if he made or repaired cart wheels and ironworker if he made more elaborate iron objects.

The rural exodus, the mechanisation of agriculture and the advent of the automobile led some people to develop their techniques to adapt them to the new developments in the fields and towns. This is the case of the Dudreuil to Mussidan, successively blacksmiths, blacksmith-mechanics, mechanics from father to son from the 18th century to the 1960s, two members of whom were made knights of the order of agricultural merit in 1926 and 1937.

Illustrations :

– Photo of the blacksmith-marshal Jules Dudreuil in Mussidan in the 1910s. (Collection Chica © Musée André Voulgre).

– Photograph of the Dudreuil farrier family shoeing a horse in front of their forge at Les Arzens in the 1910s (Chica Collection© Musée André Voulgre).

– Postcard of the Dudreuil Frères mechanical workshop in Mussidan in the 1930s. (Chica Collection © Musée André Voulgre).

– Postcard of the Volon central garage in Mussidan in the 1930s. (Chica Collection © Musée André Voulgre).

– Postcard from the Dunogier ironmongery in the 1910s in Mussidan. (Collection Chica © Musée André Voulgre).

– Photo of the work or tramalh of the blacksmith of Grignols, 1970s. Photo Pierre Broussouloux. (© Musée André Voulgre).

– Photo of the blacksmith’s forge Lessale aux Quatre-Routes in Saint Astier around 1930 (Private collection in Hervé Mercier, Saint-Astier, 1900-1950, volume 2, La vie Astérienne, Imprimerie IOTA, 2015)

– Postcard of the village of Les Lèches with the blacksmith at work on a horse around 1910 (Escarment Collection).

– Video Portrait of the blacksmith, the blacksmith and the wheelwright, by Pascal Magontier, 1980s.