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.
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