Day In the Life of a Blacksmith

In 1979 the American Antiquarian Society purchased a small hard-covered account book containing a daily log from January 1, 1869 to June 2, 1870. Clues of the anonymous diarist’s identity began to reveal themselves in his cursive scrawl: a young blacksmith apprentice from Stow, Massachusetts working in Medfield.

Before sleep each night, the apprentice noted the day’s activities. This personal ritual, nearly a century and a half later, adds to a collection of once-a-day diaries that form a vital component of the AAS manuscripts collection and offers a valuable resource in studying United States social history.

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