WHAT-IS-IT

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A Heller-Aller windmill

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. These three were sent by readers. Do you know what they are?

April's mystery tools

A. Push/pull jack, owned by K.E. Miller of Burnsville, N.C. The jack is used either to pull a chain or cable like a turnbuckle or to push apart two opposing elements. The jack was identified by Tony DeMolles of Kingston, Mass., and David Sanford of Westfield, Mass.