Mystery tools

Content Tools

The genius of pioneer inventors can confound us. Countless contraptions that revolutionized farming in the 19th and early 20th centuries have become contemporary curiosities, or even mysteries. Here are three sent in by readers. Do you know what they are?

June's mystery tools

A. A sheep-shearinq chair, submitted by Wilda Camel of Lafayette, La., and owned by Ralph Shroyer of Anna, Ohio. Jim Moffet of Modesto, III., submitted an 1875 patent and patent drawing, at right, of the chair. The patent reads in part, 'The sheep, having been placed on the seat in the position desired for commencing the clipping, is not changed during the entire process. As the clipping progresses the platform is revolved, so as to bring the rack into different relative positions to the sheep.' Dick Hamilton of Hammondsport, N.Y., was the only other person to identify the chair.

B. and C. No one was able to identify either 'what-is-it.'