When I was researching the history of American gun culture, I spent quite a bit of time looking for evidence of gunsmiths--both those who made guns, and those who repaired them. What was quite intriguing to me was how often gunsmithing was a craft that passed down from father to son. I suppose that this should not have been a surprise. Until the federal government consciously transformed gunmaking from a craft to an industrial enterprise, starting in the 1790s, gunsmithing would have been like any other occupation of the time: your shop was in your home, or perhaps immediately adjacent to it. It would only be natural that your children would be pressed into service, learn the skills, and take over the family business when the father died, or became too old to perform the most physically demanding aspects, such as forging barrels.