Whitesmith, not blacksmith

Whitesmith?  I thought it was a joke but “What is a whitesmith” was an answer on Jeopardy recent.  And you know, if it was on Jeopardy, it has to be true.

We have all heard of blacksmiths, the village blacksmith in olden days, etc.  I must admit that  whitesmith was not a term I have ever heard.

A whitesmith works with light-colored or “white” metals.  These include tin and pewter. A whitesmith usually does not work with hot metals, like a blacksmith does. They work with unheated metal but may heat it occasionally to shape it the way they desire.

Items that might be produced by a whitesmith include (tin or pewter) cups, pitchers, silverware and candle holders to name a few.

The word origin is Middle English from the period 1275 to 1325.

One response to “Whitesmith, not blacksmith

  1. How interesting! My husband’s name is “Smith” so we have always figured he comes from a long line of blacksmiths…but maybe the original guys were whitesmiths!