To view images of all four June 2009 mystery tools and accompanying patent illustrations, click the idividual items below or the Image Gallery link to the right.
B. We’re all stumped on this item. Photo submitted by Paul A. Moyers Sr., Gatlinburg, Tenn.
C. Shoe stretcher, as identified by Virgil Cassill, Drakesville, Iowa; Joe Brewer, Rison, Ark.; Ken Martin, Papillion, Neb.; Allen Reiman, Des Moines, Iowa; Dale Marshall, Holt, Mich.; Frank Tolford, Evanston, Ill.; Gary Webster, New Port Richey, Fla.; Al Schochenmaier, Glencoe, Minn.; Alfred Dobberfuhl, Mequon, Wis.; Brian Polson, Marysville, Kan.; Maurice Metzger, Apache Junction, Ariz.; Lyndel Biby, Enid, Okla.; Louis Bentzinger, Cook, Neb.; Jim Potee, Valparaiso, Ind.; Bruce Morgan, Vass, N.C.; Craig Ricksgers, Linden, Mich.; Robert Christison, Chillicothe, Mo.; Clarence Gibbs, Inman, S.C.; Gailey Henderson, Williamstown, W.Va.; Herb Olney, Zeeland, Mich.; Erwin Fullerton, South Woodstock, Vt.; Robert Holfinger, Covington, Ohio; Gerald Gengler, Le Mars, Iowa; Pete Peterson, Spencer, Iowa; Donald Reddick, Madison, Conn.; Mike Intlekofer, Bellevue, Wash.; Kirk Unzelman, Bellevue, Wash.; John Miltenberger, Nazareth, Pa.; and Onie Sims, Whitter, Calif. Photo submitted by Chris Phipps, Bealeton, Va. See patent 591,492 .
"One of my jobs while attending college in the early 1970s was in a shoe store with a repair shop," recalls Al Schochenmaier. "We used this tool to soften the leather on a new shoe for a person with corns or bunions. We’d spray a liquid softener on the leather to gradually stretch that portion of the shoe that was causing irritation to the foot. It was effective; sometimes a customer would come back for a little more stretch. It was a concern of mine that I could apply too much pressure and crack or break the leather on the outside of shoe. That never happened to me."
D. Chalk line spool, as identified by Craig Ricksgers. Photo submitted by Sarah L. Welch, Burnt Hills, N.Y., for the Saratoga (N.Y.) County Fair.
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