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This is a 1914 military field forge used by the British Army during World War I. Field forges date back earlier, but this particular model was packed onto a mule for use in the field. When the farrier arrived at the work spot, the unit would be unpacked, the lid opened and the hand-crank blower taken from inside the case. The blower would be mounted onto the back to the air entry and secured by locking through the keyhole. It would be disassembled in the same fashion and repacked on the mule, with keeping the load balanced.
British farrier Douglas Bradbury says, “The field forge was just as important as the gun.” This piece, donated by the British Army, is part of Bradbury’s extensive collection at The UK Horseshoeing Museum in Derbyshire, England. You can see a video of Bradbury discussing this forge and a gallery of images of other pieces from his collection at americanfarriers.com/1217. If you have more information about the forge style, please share it with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.