What Is It: Unidentified Farm Tools and Implements

Readers have sent in pictures of three mysterious farm tools and implements whose purpose isn't clear. Maybe you know what they're for.

| December 2002

  • farm tools and implements - three gadgets
    Three unknown farm tools and implements.
    Photo: Farm Collector Magazine Staff
  • farm tools and implements - Tool A
    Mystery tool "A" has a gearing mechanism.
    Farm Collector Magazine Staff
  • farm tools and implements - November gadgets
    November 2002's unidentified gadgets. Tool A is a reel lawnmower blade sharpener. Tool C is a leather worker's vice. Tool B might be a turn-of-the-century (19th to 20th) washing machine.
    Jim Monroe (Tool A)/Lee Maxwell (Tool B)/Chris Smith (Tool C)
  • farm tools and implements - Tool B
    Mystery tool "B" has offsetting handles.
    Farm Collector Magazine Staff
  • image of the leather worker's vice - Sears, Roebuck leather vice
    Image of a leather-worker's vice from an the old Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog.
    Jim Moffet
  • farm tools and implements - Tool C
    Mystery tool "C" resembles a C-clamp or a plane, but is neither.
    Farm Collector Magazine Staff

  • farm tools and implements - three gadgets
  • farm tools and implements - Tool A
  • farm tools and implements - November gadgets
  • farm tools and implements - Tool B
  • image of the leather worker's vice - Sears, Roebuck leather vice
  • farm tools and implements - Tool C

The genius of pioneer inventors can confound us. Countless farm tools and implements that revolutionized agriculture in the 19th and early 20th centuries have become contemporary curiosities, or even mysteries. Readers have submitted three for this month. The first has a gearing mechanism. The second has offsetting handles. The third  is made of cast iron and vaguely resembles a cross between a C-clamp and a plane.

November's Mystery Tools

Two of the three unknown tools we presented in the November 2002 issue have since been identified. The other is a guess.

Tool 'A' was identified as a reel lawnmower blade sharpener  by Jim Monroe of Culpeper, Va., and J.W. Brewer of Hope, KS.

Tool 'B,' owned by Lee Maxwell of Eaton, CO, was still unknown at press time for this issue but may be a turn-of-the-century washing machine. Can anyone confirm that idea?



Tool 'C' is a leather-worker's vice, used to hold leather during stretching. It was sent in by Chris Smith of Elberton, GA, and identified by J.W. Brewer, Harry Boyd, of Marion, IL, and Robert, Elliott of Chatsworth, GA. An illustration from a Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalog said the following about the product: "It can also be used aorund mills for mending belts, etc. It contains the following articles: One strong lever clam, round punch, sewing awl and handle, rivet set, ball of wax and a ball of thread, package of assorted needles, and one paper of coper rivets and burrs." FC