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That the old-fashioned blacksmith shop was the first subject to be shown in Edison's kinetoscope was a quiet kind of joke. The Edison Laboratory was the center of innovative technology in the late nineteenth century but here the laboratory staff takes some time off to play at blacksmithing and pass around a bottle of beer. Not only humorous, there is a nostalgic element to the film that would recur in many later Edison films. The mixing of work and alcohol had been common in the early nineteenth century but, by the 1890s, was part of a bygone era.

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