Medieval Blacksmiths has as much influence on shaping the age they lived in as they did on the metals they worked on. Medieval Europe was the time of the first great advancements in science and technology and new practices in farming, fabrication, construction and fighting were constantly being introduced. None of these would have been possible without the blacksmith.
The medieval blacksmith first came into being as a part time metal worker. In small settlements scattered all over the continent, a person with the right physique was chosen, or volunteered, to do his best in heating and shaping iron to meet the needs of the community her lived in. This was part time work to be done only when the primary duties were completed. However, as the part time iron workers skills kept improving, the demand for these goods also grew and so producing and selling metal work became a profitable profession.
As the settlements grew in size and more blacksmiths set up shop, the first guilds came into being. There guilds where more than just trade unions. They set the basics standards that the blacksmiths would work to and allowed the sharing of knowledge among the members. Although most tradesmen guilds of the time were secretive, the blacksmiths guilds were more so than most because theirs was a trade that not everyone could undertake and which also required specialized knowledge which was kept closely guarded. This gave the medieval blacksmith an important and powerful position in the society of the times. Blacksmiths had to be treated with respect or else the house builder would find his nails bending or the knight his sword breaking in battle.