The Tilt Forge
Date Made/Found: circa 1855
, British, 1824 - 1866
Material and Medium: oil on canvas
Dimensions: Overall: 543 x 668 x 73mm
Sight size: 362 x 488mm
Department: Social History
Accession Number: K1923.5
This painting shows the interior of a tilt forge, with a massive wooden tilt hammer driven by wooden gears and shafts. A highly skilled millwright would build this machinery like this, using timber from the many woods around Sheffield.
Water-powered tilt-hammers were introduced in the 1700s, and for 150 years their repetitive thunder echoed down the valleys of Sheffield’s rural rivers. In Victorian times, they began to be replaced by even noisier steam-hammers as the heavy steel-industry grew.