February 2015 Mystery Tool A
A. Unidentified. Photo submitted by Gladwin Sphor, Britton, Michigan.
February 2015 Mystery Tool B
A. Cast iron fish scaler. Identified by Bob Wittersheim, Saline, Michigan; Nick Cerbo, Parsippany, New Jersey; George Wanamaker, Macomb, Illinois; Gary Studebaker, Larwill, Indiana; Stephen Clemens, Mazeppa, Minnesota; and Erwin Fullerton, S. Woodstock, Vermont. See patent 441,244. Photo submitted by Dave Emenhiser via email.
Patent no. 441,244: Fish scaler. Patent granted to A.W. Kavel, Milwaukee, Wis., Nov. 25, 1890.
Illustration of a fish scaler from an 1897 Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog. Image courtesy Jim Mau.
February 2015 Mystery Tool C
A. Tanglefoot Japanese beetle trap. Identified by Bryan Jacobs, Bealeton, Virginia; Merle Cochran, Nekoosa, Wisconsin; Lew Payne, Remsen, New York; C.J. Shortridge, Dagsboro, Delaware; Richard E. Frantz, Richland, Pennsylvania; Jack Kalp, Acme, Pennsylvania; Bob Collins, Union City, Michigan; Bob Saxton, West Springfield, Pennsylvania; Bill Bracy, Murfreesboro, Tennessee; Nathan Drum, Littleton, New Hampshire; John D. Crockett, East Falmouth, Massachusetts; Dave Ronk, Odenton, Maryland; Greg Spratt, West Alexandria, Ohio; Jim Miller, Westminster, Maryland; Bob Wittersheim; Nick Cerbo; Leonard Keifer, Gaithersburg, Maryland; Stanley Deisemann, Shartlesville, Pennsylvania; Dean Delavan, Cincinnatus, New York; Richard Bader, Middletown, New York; Harold Stahl, New Oxford, Pennsylvania; Frank J. Baranoski, South Deerfield, Massachusetts; and Frank E. Allard, Paradise, Pennsylvania. “To bait it, remove the cap on the top of the yellow perforated cylinder and insert the attractant (available at hardware stores),” Richard Frantz says. “The beetles fly against the yellow cylinder then drop onto the funnel and slide into the green perforated collection container. You can see when it's full via the little holes. At auctions I have seen some with totally rusted green containers. A quart jar (regular mouth) fits the threads and works just as well.” Photo submitted by Rik Smits via email.
February 2015 Mystery Tool D
A.Vertical grate to use when burning coal in a fireplace. Identified by John D. Crockett, George Wanamaker, Harry Jones, Brookings, S.D.; and Gary Studebaker. Photo submitted by Rik Smits via email.
February 2015 Mystery Tool E
A. Hollow auger tenon cutter. Used to cut a tenon on the ends of round stock to fit a mortised hole, like a chair rung with the mortise in the chair leg. Identified by Mark Harris, Rolla, Missouri; Larry Fulton, Cheyenne, Wyoming; Joe Washburn, Roswell, New Mexico; Jim Kelp, Nashville, Indiana; DJ Hucker, Hopkinton, Iowa; Sam Schoenhals, Ridgecrest, California; Lew Payne; Max Garrett, Grant City, Missouri; Floyd Nelson, Osseo, Minnesota; Jack Kalp; Bob Collins; Bill Bracy; Myrun Olufson, Gatzke, Minnesota; Bill Mattingly, St. Joseph, Kentucky; Jim Palmberg, Topeka, Kansas; Bob Wittersheim; Nick Cerbo; Leonard Keifer; George Wanamaker; Gary Studebaker; Rick Schlobohm, Cypress, Texas; Terry Stearns, Manlius, New York; Dean Delavan; Richard Bader; Paul VanHavermaet, Ward Springs, Minnesota; Erwin Fullerton; Howard Fay, Dubuque, Iowa; John Fay, Dubuque, Iowa; and Stephen Clemens. See patent 105,896. Photo submitted by Mike Boyer, Lake City, Florida.
Patent no. 105,896: Hollow auger. Patent granted to C.S. Bonney, Syracuse, N.Y., Aug. 2, 1870.
Catalog illustration of a hollow auger tenon cutter. Image from the E.C. Stearns & Co. catalog courtesy Jim Mau.