Farm Collector

Mystery Tools June 2022

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 six sent in by readers. Do you know what they are?

Answers to the June 2022 items will appear in the August 2022 issue.

Answers for new items in this issue must be received by June 8, 2022.

A. Found in a pile of scrap iron. Opening on large end measures 1-1/16 inches; other opening measures 15/16-inch. Opening on the small end measures 3/4-inch. Openings in the center of the large end are made to accept a 1/2-inch square drive and a 3/8-inch square drive.

Oliver tractor plow wrench. Identified by Nick Caldiero, Afton, N.Y.; Virgil Cassil, Drakesville, Iowa; Wayne Rogers, Corsicana, Texas; Robert Scholz, Elmo, Mo.; Nathan H. Drum, Littleton, N.H.; and Harold Kaufman, Porterfield, Wis. Photo submitted by Donald Kempton Jr. via email.


old tool with two spoked wheels on either side of a shaft with a flat end that points down.

B. No information provided.

Unidentified. Willie Nurnion, Billings, Mont., believes it to be a diker wheel for a basic lister. “This International Harvester model makes a dike every 14 inches in the lister track,” Willie says. “The left diker is in dump position, the middle diker is in transport and the right diker is in workin position.” Photo submitted by Jim Christman via email.


old metal tool with two hooked ends on adjustable lengths.

C. Piece measures 18 inches by 18 inches.

Unidentified. Photo submitted by Mike Baker, Monroeville, Ind.


old tool that is a long rod with a tapered end, and a wider end with a point.

D. Wood handle is stamped Pat. Applied for Oshkosh Logging Tool Co.

Starting lever, used in logging, missing the hook. Identified by Nick Caldero; Richard bader, Middletown, N.Y.; Russel Brown, Galion, Ohio; Ken Bellamy, Hillsboro, Ore.; Robert Scholz; and Harold Kaufman. Nick enclosed a page from a 1913 Oshkosh Mfg. Co. catalog including an illustration of the piece. “For use in the woods, at landings and in millyards, starting sleds, moving cars, timbers etc.,” the description reads. Photos submitted by Frank Kuel, Neenah, Wis.


rusted tool with two cranks and a wheel

E  . No information provided.

Unidentified. Photo submitted by Mike Baker, Monroeville, Ind.


old metal tool with a crank on one end and a hooked opening on the other.

F. Tool measures about 22 inches long. Three hooks with hand crank.

Tool used to install tires on a split rim wheel for old cars. Manufactured by Universal Rim Tool Co., Benton Harbor, Mich. Identified by Larry Harpster, Pennsylvania Furnace, PA.; Robert Phillips, Newberry, Fla.; Russel Brown; Richard bader, Middletown, N.J.; Virgil Cassil; Kurt Kocher, Glasco, Kan.; Harold Kaufman; JoAnn Gundlach, Norfolk, Conn.; John S. Rauth, Ridgely, Md.; Robert Phillips, Newberry, Fla.; Clyde H. Greene, Mukwonago, Wis.; John W. Foster Sr., Middletown, N.Y.; Gerald Goldsby, Elmore, Ohio; Kenneth Lilley, Silver Lake, Kan.; Dave Machovec, Idaho Falls, Idaho; and John E. Jensen, Knoxville, Iowa. Photo provided by Jerry Taube, Cannon Falls, Minn.


To submit photos:

Send prints to Farm Collector, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609.

Send digital images to editor@farmcollector.com.

  • Photos should be taken in a well-lit area against a plain background. Include dimensions and any markings on the piece. We cannot guarantee every photo will be published, nor can we respond to inquiries regarding when photos will be published. No photos will be returned.
  • Digital photos should be sent as .jpgs at a minimum of 300 dpi.

To identify an item:

Send answers (with your name and address) to Farm Collector, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Email responses may be sent to editor@farmcollector.com.

Answers for new items shown in this issue must be received by
June 8, 2022.

  • Updated on May 12, 2022
  • Originally Published on May 11, 2022
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