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A Colonial Silversmith

Hello! Let me introduce you to my friend, James Geddy. He is a colonial silversmith. I will show you what he does every day. Mr. Geddy has another busy day ahead of him. I will take you around his shop first. Here are some things he makes. Ahh! Some beautiful jewelry is crafted by Mr. Geddy. But that is not all. Look, there are buckles, pins, and silver buttons. He even makes articles you can eat off of like silver plates, cups, bowls, and silverware. Guess why it's called silverware? Other things that you use in your house such as trays, teapots, candlesticks, pitchers, sugar bowls, and salt and peppershakers can be made by the silversmith.

Today Mr. Geddy is making a teapot for George Washington's wife, Martha. He needs the silver hot to be able to shape it, so his apprentice pumps the bellows to make the fire in the furnace hotter. His assistant heats the silver pieces in a crucible until the silver becomes liquid. Then Mr. Geddy pours the liquid silver into a small mold. When the silver hardens and cools, he takes it out of the mold. It is now an ingot. Mr. Geddy brings the ingot over to the anvil to be hammered. Picking it up in his tongs, he reheats the ingot in the fire and hammers it into a small round sheet. Mr. Geddy hammers and heats the silver until it takes the shape of a teapot. Then he pours some more liquid silver into molds for the top, spout and handle. In a few minutes, the silver cools and he takes it out of the mold.

Then Mr. Geddy melts the silver handle, spout, and top onto the body of the teapot. He polishes the silver until it is smooth. Then he carves his special sign on the bottom of the teapot. It is finished.

Mr. Geddy not only uses silver in his work but he uses pewter as well. Pewter is a mixture of several different metals. It is used for everyday dishes. Today lots of people still carry on the tradition of handcrafting silver items. The silver objects made now are crafted practically in the same way that people in colonial times made them. Copyright 2007 sponsor Canon NP Series Printer Cartridge