PRINT May 1978

Thoughts on Samuel Yellin and Blacksmithing

SAMUEL YELLIN (1885–1940) WAS, as he should be more and more recognized, an American master of wrought iron who played an important part in the history of American architecture. In the early 1900s the revival of many different crafts had substantially affected architecture. Yellin was engaged in making numerous wrought iron works for major building projects, including gates for the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., the Cloisters in New York, as well as gates for such universities as Harvard and Princeton. The list is long.1

In the 1920s Yellin had over 200 blacksmiths in his Arch Street workshop in Philadelphia; according to his son Harvey, some of these men are still alive. Today Harvey Yellin runs a museum as well as the workshop, and there is also an important library concerning the history of decorative and sculptural ironwork and the relevant metal technology. Samuel Yellin was

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