1) It has two meanings but is generally used of a tinsmith, that is a worker in ‘white iron’. Rather more loosely it was applied also to those workmen who ‘finished’ off metal goods, as opposed to those who forged them (OED).
As an occupational term it is on record from 1302, much earlier than ‘blacksmith’. Examples in Sheffield are later: 1700 fil’ Joh’is Kirke white smith.
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