George Cramer, owner of the Village Blacksmith in Gloucester, VA is slated to make an appearance on the National Geographic Channel series: “Drain the Oceans”. The popular TV series, now in its 3rd season, takes viewers on a journey in which historical evidence is examined and research is conducted using the latest technology including , advanced sonar mapping and CGI generation to recreate history in a very unique way.
Synopsis from National Geographic: “Drain the Oceans dives deep into the unknown; a truly epic, truly original series that takes underwater adventure and earth science illustration into a whole new era. Ambitious exploration, advances in scientific research, and innovative technology mean Earth Science and History step forward to expose hidden evidence of the most amazing undersea mysteries, as never seen before. World-leading oceanographers and maritime archaeologists lead expeditions with the very latest in underwater scanning capability.”
While George cannot divulge too many details, the unscripted episode titled “Drain the American Revolution” was filmed in part on location at his forge just off Main Street in the historic Gloucester Courthouse Village. The episode, filmed last July, required the assistance of a Blacksmith, fire, and steel to help recreate and give better understanding of an important moment during the American Revolution.
The episode is centered around the sinking of the HMS Charon during the battle in the York River in 1781. The ship was set ablaze by a “hot shot” that was fired by the French. To execute a hot shot, a cannon ball, heated to a glowing temperature, is fired at a ship with the intent of striking the mast and rigging, ultimately setting it ablaze. Along with historical accounts, charred remains of the Charon were discovered in the York River, giving validity to the claim that the hot shot was successful. Local teams aided National Geographic in mapping this discovery by examining the remains of the wreckage on the riverbed.
“I was excited about this opportunity”, says Cramer. “Through this craft [Blacksmithing] I have been fortunate to have had several opportunities to do my part to help preserve our Nation’s history…” as he alludes to the Revolutionary War cannon carriages his shop recently completed for the National Park Service.
No stranger to TV appearances, George has appeared on a few other shows as well. In 2018 he was on Discovery Channel’s “Master of Arms”, a competition weapons building show in which, he was tasked with building a heavy crossbow and a steel bow. He won the competition and a cash prize of $10,000. In 2019 he appeared on the local talk show “In the Ring" (Sky4) to talk about his craft, business, and his time at Discovery Channel. He also worked on a a few movie props for the movie: "Harriet". (2019)
The episode: "Drain the American Revolution" is scheduled to air on Tuesday, June 2 at 9pm ET.
Learn more about The Village Blacksmith by visiting their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/handforgedsteel/