Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Last of the Queens blacksmiths?

Inside the Sanitation Department's massive Central Repair Shop in Woodside, Ray Maiara sweats away at a job that many people think disappeared along with the horse and buggy.

He's a blacksmith - one of the few left working for New York City.

He spends his days forging metal and steel, creating parts for Sanitation Department vehicles.

Blacksmiths a dwindling fraternity in 21st century New York City

Maiara, 49, has deep family roots in the field. His great-grandfather started a blacksmith business when he arrived in the U.S. from Italy in the late 1800s. His mother's Irish family also were blacksmiths.

He admits the title seems "archaic," but insists the work of a blacksmith is very much vital to modern-day needs.

Maiara makes parts for salt spreaders, collection trucks and other vehicles - parts that are either obsolete or hard to get on a timely basis.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

A city-employed blacksmith. Let me guess, he's a one-man union unto himself!