Training of tinsmiths
– Tinsmiths learned their trade through a 4 to 6-year apprenticeship with a master tinsmith.
– Apprentices started by performing tasks such as cleaning the shop and polishing tools.
– As they progressed, apprentices learned to trace patterns, cut out sheets, solder joints, and insert rivets.
– They gradually advanced to creating more complex objects like chandeliers and coffee pots.
– After completing their apprenticeship, tinsmiths became journeyman and some became peddlers or tinkers to save money.

Raw material
– Tinplate, consisting of sheet iron coated with tin, was discovered in the 16th century.
– The British Iron Act of 1750 restricted the establishment of new tinplate works in America until after the American Revolution.
– Tinplate was previously imported from Hamburg, but the Act led to the development of tinplate works in America.
– Today’s tinplate is mild steel electroplated with tin, providing non-rusting qualities.
– The quality of tinware depends on the surface being in an unbroken coating to prevent rust.

Tinsmithing tools
– Tinsmiths used various tools including shears, hand snips, and nippers for cutting.
– Anvils made of steel were used to flatten and shape the tin.
– Hammers such as planishing hammers, chasing hammers, and ball peen hammers were essential.
– Soldering irons and fire pots were used for joining pieces together.
– Before electric soldering irons, heated copper irons were used for soldering seams.

History of tinsmithing
– Tinwares, known as Crooked Lane Wares, were produced in London by the 1630s.
– The Worshipful Company of Tin Plate Workers was incorporated in 1670 in London.
– Tinsmithing has been practiced in America since 1720, with colonial tinsmiths using imported tinplate.
– The production of tinplate in America in the early 19th century led to increased availability of tinsmith products.
– Tinware continues to be made as a folk art in colonial Mexico and New Mexico.

– Susan Hanway Scott’s book ‘Whitesmithing’ provides insights into the craft of tinsmithing.
– The Hunt Magazine’s Summer 2012 issue features information on tinsmithing.
– The definition of tinsmith can be found on dictionary.com.
– Books such as ‘American Copper & Brass’ by Henry J. Kauffman and ‘Tinplate in Wales’ by Alun John Richards discuss the history of tinsmithing.
– The Tinsmith Museum of America’s website (www.hotdiptin.com) is a valuable resource for tinsmithing information.Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tinsmith