At the age of 12, Philip became an apprentice to a blacksmith. It was a hard job. Apprentices swept floors, shoed horses and worked simple pieces of iron while laboring around a hot forge. Only after years of practice and mastering the basics of ironwork, could apprentices become blacksmiths. Philip was determined and he was known to work harder than his fellow workers. By the time Philip became a blacksmith, the car was beginning to replace the horse and carriage in Charleston. Much of the blacksmith's work was shoeing horses and fixing horse carriages. Philip and his fellow blacksmiths started to worry that there would be fewer and fewer jobs. Fortunately, many people in Charleston had iron gates and fences that needed to be repaired or replaced. Some of the gates and fences were nearly 200 years old. Philip repaired them with extra skill. Many people thought his ironwork had been crafted by the master blacksmiths of long ago. Phillip found his calling and became known as a master blacksmith himself. People from Charleston began buying Philip's original work, as did people from all over the country.