Damascus: Tinsmiths

Date: early twentieth century

The tinsmith is crafts person who produces and repairs goods made of tin and other light metals. An account by traveler Freya Stark (d. 1993) found that the Damascene tinsmith had a highly efficient method of polishing, whereby he stood inside the copper product on a pile of wet gravel and spun himself from side to side so quickly that the gravel polished off every stain at a rapid pace. See also: Copper Beater; Copper Founder; Silversmith.

Citation: Stark, Freya, Letters from Syria (London: The Travel Book Club, 1944), part of a letter to her mother, dated 17 April 1928, p. 117.