August 2014 Mystery Tool A
Thermostat device used to regulate draft and maintain proper temperature on brooder house stoves. See patents 1,346,688 and 1,758,155 for similar pieces. Photo submitted by Bob Wittersheim, Saline, Michigan.
An antique brooder with thermostat device intact.
Patent no. 1,346,688: Brooder. Patent granted to Andrew F. Shuler, Arcanum, Ohio, Feb. 12, 1920.
August 2014 Mystery Tool B
McColm soil pulverizer and field roller. Identified by Ron Nahrwold, New Haven, Indiana; Ron Wolsky, Corvallis, Montana; Tom Keys, Portage, Ohio; Dwight Huddle, Napoleon, Ohio; Wallace H. Kruse, Goose Lake, Iowa; John Seibert, Fountain, Minnesota; Donald and Diane Davies (whose son used a pair of these wheels in building a unique mailbox stand – see photo below), Dawn, Missouri. Photo submitted by Bill Ringberg, Woodhull, Illinois.
This roller was manufactured by H.P. Deuscher Co., Hamilton, Ohio. Photo courtesy Ron Narhwold.
Donald and Diane Davies’ son handcrafted this mailbox stand (which features back wheels like the one shown above) as a tribute to his grandfather’s John Deere Model D tractor. “The front wheels came from my dad’s horse-drawn buck rake,” Donald says. “The fenders are from a 50-gallon barrel. The seat is from a toy pedal tractor.”
Patent no. 204,988: Soil pulverizer. Patent granted to Stephen McColm, Waggoner's Ripple, Ohio, June 18, 1878.
August 2014 Mystery Tool C
No positive identification; possibly used to drag filled burlap bags in warehouse storage. Photo submitted by Erwin Fullerton, S. Woodstock, Vermont.
August 2014 Mystery Tool D
Weeding device, missing its 3- to 4-foot wooden handle. Identified by Bob Wittersheim and William Evans, St. Joseph, Missouri. See patent 1,293,824 for similar piece. Photo submitted by John D. Mickesh via email.
Patent no. 1,293,824: Weed puller. Patent granted to Louis H. Ludwig, Waukegan, Illinois, Feb. 11, 1919.
August 2014 Mystery Tool E
Pump rod coupling used from the drive near the top of windmills to the pump on the platform. Identified by John Musick, Wellsville, Kansas; Joe Johnson, Parkersburg, West Virginia; Sam Schoenhals, Ridgecrest, California; Dennis Howard, Boyne Falls, Michigan; Marlin O Herbst, Merrill, Iowa; Relph Farnsworth, New Haven, Vermont; Tom Keys; Bill Paloutzian, Shaver Lake, California; Robert Baird, Wampum, Pennsylvania; Donald D. Sarchet, Tulia, Texas; Harry Bartosch, Schulenburg, Texas; Leo J. Wink, Espanola, New Mexico. “A catalog describes the pieces as being 42 inches long and made of iron with wood inserts that are riveted in place,” Leo says. “The two halves screw together with a 3/4-inch thread. Overall length was 16 to 30 feet. One end of the sucker rod had male threads and the other end had female threads. The sucker rod worked in the pipe. The bottom sucker rod had a top check valve that worked in the cylinder. These are still in use today.” See patent no. 943,080 for a similar piece. Photo submitted by Jackson Co. (Minn.) Historical Society.
Patent no. 943,080: Pump rod coupling. Patent granted to Clayton L. Kenyon, Tama, Iowa, Dec. 14, 1909.
Item A, July 2014: Gilbert Parent, St. Joseph, Manitoba, Canada, had it pegged. “This tool is used for redoing the grooves in the metal sealing cap on canning jars,” he says.