This is the kind of ‘cottage industry’ that was going on in the black country about 150 years ago, chain making. These are photos from a demo that I watched where a chain link was made for us.
My brother Paul was involved with installing this forge that is being used here from another site as an enginerring project in the late 70s. It would have been about the time when the museum was being set up.
I can also remember my gran talking about chain makers when she was a girl growing up in what was then a village called Lye.
Chain makers where paid by weight of chain produced, they worked at the forge for approx 6 hours a day and where paid above the average wage.
The guy demoing the technique said that sight problems probably resulted from working with hot metal for such a long period. Here is the finished link.