Buffalo in the ’50s: Tradesmen toil in anonymity

By Steve Cichon

Bill Dyviniak was a colorful, gruff photographer who spent almost 50 years taking often colorful, gruff photos of everyday life in Buffalo for The News and The Courier-Express.

His style and his subject matter were a reflection of our city through the 20th century: a place where blue-collar people worked hard to get the job done.

Buffalo News archives

“BY DYVINIAK” is scrawled across the back of this 1958 photo, like thousands of others he took through the years. The caption that appeared under the photo when it appeared in The News seems to tell the story of the blacksmith, all the hard working tradesmen and laborers who made Buffalo great, and maybe even Dyviniak himself.

Buffalo News Archives

“Buffalo master of a dying art, with more business than he can handle with ease, prefers to remain anonymous.”

Buffalo Stories Archives

In the 1955 Buffalo City Directory,  only five blacksmiths are listed– perhaps this man in the photo was among them.

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Steve Cichon

Steve Cichon writes about Buffalo’s pop culture history. His stories of Buffalo's past have appeared more than 1600 times in The Buffalo News. He's a proud Buffalonian helping the world experience the city he loves. Since the earliest days of the internet, Cichon's been creating content celebrating the people, places, and ideas that make Buffalo unique and special. The 25-year veteran of Buffalo radio and television has written five books and curates The Buffalo Stories Archives-- hundreds of thousands of books, images, and audio/visual media which tell the stories of who we are in Western New York.