The Broadbeams were paired with the Firebeards, who lived in the Northern part of the Ered Luin when they were awakened by Eru Ilúvatar, before the First Age. They were prosperous in their great city of Belegost, trading with their kinsmen in the South, and also with the Sindar and Noldor of Beleriand, as well as the newly-appeared race of Men. The Broadbeams were a more friendly clan than their northern kinsmen the Firebeards, who were a more greedy and selfish clan.
The Nauglamír, a jeweled necklace and one of the most beautiful treasures ever crafted in Arda, was made by the Broadbeams. The Broadbeams also helped build the city of Nargothrond for the Elves. Another famous item was the Dragon-helm of Dor-lómin, which was made by the famous dwarf-smith, Telchar.
In the Battle of Unnumbered Tears, the heavily-armoured Broadbeams, with their fearsome iron masks, held off the dragon Glaurung, as the sons of Fëanor retreated south to Ossiriand. During the battle, their great king, Azaghâl, was killed by Glaurung — but not before wounding the dragon with a dagger in the stomach. Glaurung screamed in pain and fled with many of the forces of Morgoth following him. Forgetting the battle, the Broadbeams then picked up their fallen leader and marched home.
The old kingdom of the Broadbeams came to a close in the War of Wrath with the breaking of the Ered Luin and the destruction of Beleriand, which sank beneath the waves. Belegost was ruined and the city of the Firebeards, Nogrod, was totally destroyed, sinking into the sea with much of the Ered Luin. Some of the Dwarves stayed to rebuild what they could of their ancient halls, but many left to go to Khazad-dum, home of their kinsmen the Longbeards.