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Can you identify these mystery tools?

8/31/2010 3:10:41 PM

Tags: antique farm tools, farm life, livestock

It seems everyone enjoys a good mystery. For proof, look no further than "What Is It," one of the most popular monthly features in Farm Collector.

Every issue, readers contribute photos of items for the section and others pitch in to identify the items, often sharing memories of personal experience with long forgotten tools. We recently compiled more than 150 of our favorites over the past 12 years for a special edition "book-a-zine" we've called Farm Collector Field Guide to Mystery Farm Tools.

When it comes to antique farm tools it's not surprising that many remain stubbornly unidentifiable. Chapter 6 in the Field Guide addresses those Odd Lots that remain a mystery. We're giving these tools one more chance to be identified and you could be the hero that sheds some light on these stumpers.

Below are the photos and descriptions for 24 unidentified tools. At the bottom of this post, you'll see a field inviting you to "Add Your Comment." Simply post a comment with your thoughts and guesses as to what these tools were used for, referring to the number assigned to each item. We're hoping to get a lively conversation going so feel free to post whatever comes to mind.

So, come on - we've got some mysteries to solve!

 

Item 1 

1. Possible harrow part or milk cow shackle.

   

2. Unidentified crank pulley: The piece with the thumbscrew slides up and down; the hooks open and close slightly. There are no markings.

Item 2 
   
OL03 

3. Undetermined device: Weighing about 4 pounds, the piece is 19 inches wide both closed and open. The pulleys, handle, brackets and hinges are made of lightweight wood. the screw and bolts are metal.

   

4. Possible leather harness machine 

Item 4 
   
Item 5 

5. Unknown hammer: Found by a Dakota Territory homesteader in 1883. About 10 inches long; head is 3 inches wide.

   

6. Unrecognized tool: Wood, perhaps maple, reinforced with steel on both sides; measures 14-by-16 inches. Carved into one side: "POT.8."

Item 6 
   
Item 7 

7. Unidentified cage 

   

8. Unknown odd lots: The owner set in the following clues: "I got them in a box of tools at a farm auction. I have asked many old-timers, and nobody knows what they could have been used for. They are 13, 18 and 27 inches long plus a 5-inch handle."

Item 8 
   
Item 9 

9. Unknown tool: Two views of the item found in a sextant's shop.

   

10. Unidentified knife: Measures 14 inches long by 3 inches wide. Less than 1/8-inch thick with sharpened bevel on top and bottom. Blade sharpened on both sides and slightly cupped. "G.W. Proctor" cast into blade center, twice, in a "V" configuration.

Item 10 
   
Item 11 

11. Unidentified small stove 

   

12. Unknown tool 

Item 12 
   
Item 13 

13. Possible washing machine 

   

14. Possible stove part 

Item 14 
   
Item 15 

15. Unknown device: Cement-like base measures 4-by-6 inches. Only remaining markings on serial number tag: "Mfg. Co. New York. Serial number 180875."

   

16. Unknown tool 

Item 16 
   
Item 17 

17. Possible crate or fence tool: Measures 14 inches long; cast with "R 58."

   

18. Unrecognized tool: Mostly wood with a hinged part; movement limited by a chain. The other end of the long member has a 1-1/4-inch round wood peg through it protruding from each side about 1-inch. Height indicated by yardstick is approximately 30 inches.

OL18 
   
Item 19 

19. Unknown tool: Found buried in a farm grove. Measures about 10 inches wide when opened. One of the round ends rotates.

   

20. Unidentified clamp: 1-1/2 inches long and 1 inch in diamater; the spring returns the piece to the closed position.

OL20 
   
Item 21 

21. Possible baling tool 

   

22. Unidentified lathe 

Item 22 
   
Item 23 

23. Unknown implement: Made of very heavy wood, the piece is 30 inches long with a 1-inch handle attached to a cylinder 4 inches long and 4 inches in diameter. The movable cylinder is 4-1/2 inches long and 6 inches in diameter.

   

24. Unrecognized device: Weighing 4 pounds, the piece is 19 inches wide both closed and open. The pulleys, handle, brackets and hinges are made of lightweight wood. The screw and bolts are metal.  

Item 24 


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Post a comment below.

 

Schmitt Larry
8/21/2012 2:49:03 PM
I believe # 19 may possibly be a tire patch tool . In the old days you put a disc in a tool like this and vulcanized a patch on the tube after lighting the disk full of material similar to a road flare with the patch on the other side

Jake Kilgus
8/21/2012 12:38:23 AM
I am new to this site. I was wondering how to post picts of an old farm implement for someone to identify. None of the locals here seem to know what it is. Thanks

David Howald
8/7/2012 1:32:38 AM
I have an old John Deere off set disc. parts number Q10619. It was my dads and I think it is 1950-1965? Would anyone happen to know a model number? Want to paint it on the disc when it is refinished.

Chad Elwell
6/25/2012 2:32:55 PM
# 14 is the key from a steam radiator. you use it to regulate the temperature of the radiator by opening or closing a valve, depending on which way you turn it.

Uncle Ed
4/2/2011 9:04:10 AM
#6 looks like the tobacco peg my grandfather used on his farm in Kentucky. The plot was prepared and the row was indicated--I can't remember how; maybe a string stretched from one end to the other? Then the peg was punched into the ground, the tobacco plant/seedling was stuck in the hole it made, and you stepped on the ground beside it to hold it in place. After that, a small boy came along with a bucket of water and a one pound coffee can to pour water on it. I believe my grandfather used his tobacco peg for setting tomatoes, too.

Uncle Ed
4/2/2011 8:37:45 AM
#6 looks like the tobacco peg my grandfather used on his farm in Kentucky. The plot was prepared and the row was indicated--I can't remember how; maybe a string stretched from one end to the other? Then the peg was punched into the ground, the tobacco plant/seedling was stuck in the hole it made, and you stepped on the ground beside it to hold it in place. After that, a small boy came along with a bucket of water and a one pound coffee can to pour water on it. I believe my grandfather used his tobacco peg for setting tomatoes, too.

Vicki Gifford
3/17/2011 8:44:52 PM
I work in a body shop with my brother Joe. I gave him the Mystery Farm Tools edition for his birthday. He owns #8. They are auto body prying tools. The smaller bar serves as a guide to pry dents out from the inside of the panel with the larger bar.

robert scholz
12/14/2010 1:12:14 PM
I beleive mystery tool # 15 is a case hardener/heat treatment tool. you placed an item inside that you wanted hardened along with hot coal embers, and then also placed hot embers underneath. you waited several hours and then removed and quenched with cold water.

robert scholz
12/14/2010 1:12:01 PM
I beleive mystery tool # 15 is a case hardener/heat treatment tool. you placed an item inside that you wanted hardened along with hot coal embers, and then also placed hot embers underneath. you waited several hours and then removed and quenched with cold water.

robert scholz
12/14/2010 1:06:38 PM
I beleive mystery tool # 15 is a case hardener/heat treatment tool. you placed an item inside that you wanted hardened along with hot coal embers, and then also placed hot embers underneath. you waited several hours and then removed and quenched with cold water.

robert scholz
12/14/2010 1:06:14 PM
I beleive #15 is a case hardener tool that you placed an item that you wanted hardened-heat treated inside along with hot coal embers, and then also placed additional embers underneath it. you allowed the item to heat for several hours, then remove and quench with col water.

Beth
10/25/2010 2:16:41 PM
Sandra- To submit an unknown item, you can e-mail a photo and description to editor@farmcollector.com or mail to Farm Collector, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609.

sandra oliver
10/21/2010 8:42:48 PM
I am trying to find out how to post old farm equipment that i cant identify and dont see a place to post it. can some one help me

L W Lewis
10/18/2010 1:27:24 PM
#19, Flame type inner tube repair patch holder ?

Bus H.
10/13/2010 12:08:42 AM
#14 is a corn nubber.

Veronica V.
10/11/2010 8:25:41 PM
#13 I believe is a butter churn. The rocking motion causes the cream to flow back and forth against its self and churns without an agitator.

Jerry Kelly
9/21/2010 11:26:21 AM
# 11 is a laundry or sad iron heater. Google "Sad Iron Heater" and several sites will appear. All show varities of this stove. Jerry Kelly

Jerry Kelly
9/21/2010 11:13:12 AM
I think # 5 is a hammer for a horse collar maker, used to form the leather around the straw base. Jerry Kelly

Jerry Kelly
9/9/2010 12:18:00 PM
I was researching "corn shock tiers" and stumbled across your site that asks for folks to help identify unknown items. I cannot find that site now. I did have some ideas as to their identify, so here goes; #3 Could be Electrical, used as a line spreader. #5 There is a Hammer Museum in Alaska and they do have a website hammermuseum.org/. #7 Looks as though it would hang on a wall. could it be to hang an emergency hose? #10 Could this be a "hide scraper? #11 It is a stove for "sad Irons" it is missing the top part or chimney. #15 "Curling Iron Heater" the base in Asbestos. #20 Safety item. used to go around the shaft of a valve to lock it in the closed position. I hope some of these ideas are of some help. Jerry Kelly

Jerry Kelly
9/8/2010 10:03:41 PM
item # 3 May be an electrical tool to spread wires



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