January 2012 Mystery Tool A
Weed puller (missing its long wooden handle). See patent 1,293,824. Photo submitted by Adolf Hendriks, Appleton, Wis.
January 2012 Mystery Tool B
Lap anvil. See patent 8,111 for a similar piece. Photo submitted by Daniel and Phyllis Jepsen, Miles, Iowa.
January 2012 Mystery Tool C
Syrup pan (or evaporator) used in cooking sorghum molasses or maple syrup. Photo submitted by Keith Trafton, Wapello, Iowa.
January 2012 Mystery Tool D
A few readers believe this to be an early fire extinguisher, the type that hang from the ceiling - but our experts remain skeptical, citing the vessel's small capacity and ornate design. Another reader speculated that it might be a pull chain hadle for an overhead lavatory gravity tank - however, we've been unable to verify that. Photo submitted by Ronald Mallick, Wilmette, Ill.