January 2015 Mystery Tool A
A. Lemon/citrus squeezer. The photo shows an incomplete unit; it is missing a porcelain insert and a wooden knob that would press down on the fruit to extract juice. Identified by Erwin Fullerton, S. Woodstock, Vermont, and Dick Kates, Oakland, Iowa. See patent 253,353 for a similar piece. Photo submitted by Betty Standiford via email.
A complete lemon/citrus squeezer.
Patent 253,353: Fruit squeezer. Patent granted to William B. Dean, N.Y., N.Y., Feb. 7, 1882.
January 2015 Mystery Tool B
A. Moon knife. The crutch of this “shoulder stake” was inserted in the craftsman’s armpit. The working end was used to soften delicate leather. Identified by Robert Scholz, Elmo, Missouri; Gary Studebaker, Larwill, Indiana; Erwin Fullerton; and Dick Kates. Photo submitted by Tony Ramos, Flower Mound, Texas.
A selection of shoulder stakes used in leatherworking. The moon knife (third from left) was used in several leather trades for paring and softening more delicate leathers in a process known as “perching.” Image courtesy Jim Mau.
January 2015 Mystery Tool C
A. Leather embossing wheel. Identified by Gary Studebaker and Dick Kates. Photo submitted by Calvin Rolstad, Hugo, Minnesota.
Editor’s note: Some respondents identified this piece as a pie crimper. However, pie crimpers typically feature two discs: One crimps crust in a decorative manner and the other trims excess crust. The tool shown above has only one disc. Patent illustrations for a pie crimper are shown below in patent 1,535,300.
Patent 1,535,300: Pie crimper. Patent granted to John C. Forster, Pittsburg, Pa., Jan. 10, 1925.
January 2015 Mystery Tool D
A. Blacksmith tool used to clinch nails on the top of the hoof when shoeing a horse. Identified by Robert Scholz; Larry Whitesell, Tipton, Indiana; Erwin Fullerton and Dick Kates. See patent no. 238,822 for a similar piece. Photo submitted by Raymond Wickham, Dumont, Iowa.
January 2015 Mystery Tool E
A. Unidentified. Photo submitted by Clyde Seigler, Clinton, Pennsylvania.