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"Wrecking": 1939

"Wrecking": 1939

June 1939. "Blacksmith shop now used for auto repair. Glendive, Montana." A strong horseshoe motif here, architecturally speaking, in addition to the giant pile of actual horseshoes. Roofline of alphabetical anvils by Wile E. Coyote. "Wrecking" by "Joe Balison," who seems to be a fan of quote marks. Medium format negative by "Arthur Rothstein" for the "Farm Security Administration." View full size.


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The vanishing blacksmith

My father-in-law was born and grew up in Glendive. His father ran a cartage business with mules and he would accompany him for deliveries in neighboring towns. He told me that he would arrive in a new place, and would stop and listen. The banging and clanging of the blacksmith could be heard anywhere and indicated the center of activity in town. He always headed for the noise. He joined the army in 1938, and when he returned after the war, all the blacksmith shops were gone or repurposed. This photo is an example of the change.

Anvils $

Today just one of those anvils would be worth close to $1000.

[Those are plaster anvils. -Dave]

truck ID

1928-1929 Ford. The front doors are Ford car; the rest of the illfitting body aftermarket or salvaged from another make.

Any takers?

I would bet big money the letters on those anvils were once horseshoes.


The town has the distinction of being the smallest of the 210 television markets in the United States, according to Nielsen. It has 4,370 TV homes, well behind #209, which is North Platte, Nebraska, at 14,370.


Crisafulli Inc., a metal fabricator and pump manufacturer, is in business in Glendive. With that name and location there has to be a connection!

"Before" the "philistine" "Joe Balison"

From a happier time, the C.S. Johnston Blacksmith shop, without any quotation marks and with all anvils still on parapet.

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