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Lewis and Clark Tools?

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Hey All

I have recently moved to Dakota city Ne where Lewis and Clark are rather big figures as this was part of their journey. They have a number of festivals and things along those lines around here, I was wondering what would the type of forge and tools that Lewis and Clark had with them look like. I have done a bit of research but cannot seem to find any pics or sketches. I imagine it would have to be relatively portable which would be handy because I would have to travel with it quite a bit as well. Also would it be charcoal or coal. Any help would be much appreciated.


Best Regards

Luke S :ph34r:

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It's been a while since I read the journals, but I seem to recall the smith's toolkit was a standard bunch of hammers and tongs, a 100-ish pound anvil, and a set of bellows and tuyere iron for field expedient use, i.e. build a pile of dirt with a depression in it and stick the tuyere in the side, instant forge. Oh, and something like 400lbs of iron barstock.


While it was "portable," remember they travelled by keelboat as far as possible up the Missouri. I think they left most of the smith's tools behind when they started overland. This was after the first winter in the Dakotas when the smith was kept busy making tomahawks (they called them Missouri War Axes) for the local Native Americans.


I know they had enough tooling to make nails during the second winter at the mouth of the Columbia, but that doesn't take much.


The fuel was charcoal made on-site, in addition to a reserve for emergencies. Again, I don't remember clearly, but I seem to recall some experimentation with buffalo chips as fule at Fort Mandan as well.


Read the journals, it's all in there. ;)

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My work is right next to camp DuBois. Literally.

My life is like shaving with a razor sharp machete. It's a bit awkward and I feel a sting every now and then, but in the end I'm happy with the results.

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check out - Lewis & Clark: Tailor Made, Trail Worn--Army Life, Clothing, & Weapons of the Corps of Discovery - one of the best sources on the equipment carried by the Corps



Pretty much what Alan said along with some gunsmithing tools such as the tools to fresh out a bore (NOT re-bore it) -


Chuck Burrows

Wild Rose Trading Co



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Thanks everyone

Alan I can't believe I had not thought of reading the journals I need to go to the library and get them now. thanks for the links Wild Rose.



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