What's Historic About Brookville, Pennsylvania?

The One-Arm Blacksmith

By Jolie Connor

This is a story about one of western Pennsylvania's (from Jefferson County) blacksmiths. This particular blacksmith is unique because he actually designed his own arm.

The story begins when the blacksmith and his brother were hunting small game in the Pennsylvania hillside. While attempting to shoot a rabbit, the blacksmith's brother shot him in the arm, blowing it completely off. His doctors outfitted him with a new arm consisting of a double utility hook, but it would not function, and the blacksmith could not carry out his trade.

He and his brother set to making a new arm themselves. The blacksmith's arm was made of airplane landing gears at his elbow, and the hook was made of stainless steel. The twelve of them redesigned all of the blacksmith's tools to fit onto the hook with a clamp. According to the blacksmith, "It all worked perfect." The only handicap he thought he had was in tying his shoes and playing the guitar.

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