Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVa: Steel Yourself

This week, we continue our four(and a half)-part (I, II, III, IVa, IVb) look at pre-modern iron and steel production. Last week, we looked at how a blacksmith reshapes our iron from a spongy mass called a bloom first into a more workable shape and then finally into some final useful object like a tool. … Continue reading Collections: Iron, How Did They Make It, Part IVa: Steel Yourself

Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VI: Is This a Good Sword?

This is is the sixth part of a series taking a historian’s look at the Battle of Helm’s Deep (I, II, III, IV, V) from both J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Two Towers (1954) and Peter Jackson’s 2002 film of the same name. Last time, we looked at Saruman's siege tactics and found them badly wanting. Even … Continue reading Collections: The Battle of Helm’s Deep, Part VI: Is This a Good Sword?