The Case of the Mysterious Hog Barn Tank

Reader Contribution by Max W. Hamman
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I am the fourth generation to live on the 160-acre Hamman Homestead Farm. In 1905, my grandfather built a 60 foot- by 30-foot hog barn. It had two stories with an earth bank at the south end. It had corncribs the full length of each side on the upper level. My grandfather, father and I fed ear corn to the hogs in the bottom level. In 1996, the building was in bad shape so my wife and I tore it down.

Sometime after 1932, when I was still a kid, I climbed the ladder to the attic of the hog barn and saw a tank there for the first time. It remained there until we tore down the hog barn. We then moved the tank to our garage.

The oval-shaped tank is made of steel. It measures 10-3/4 inches wide by 31 inches long by 19 inches high. The cast brass filler port has a hinged, oval-shaped lid measuring 1-1/2 by 3-1/2 inches. The lid has a knob with a threaded stem that clamps the lid down against a gasket. On the other end of the tank is a glass tube. The fittings at the top and bottom are brass with a small petcock at the bottom for drainage. The fitting in the bottom of the tank is cast steel with a drainage hole in the bottom and a side port with a 3/8-inch female pipe thread to hook a line to. The mounting brackets on the bottom of the tank are brass held onto the tank by metal straps. The brackets still have two 3/8- by 2-1/4-inch hex head bolts (out of probably four) to bolt it down.

After all these years, I think it is amazing that the glass tube on the end has not been broken. I continue to wonder how this tank was used, but I feel that it has to be a water tank of some sort. Maybe a Farm Collector reader will recognize it.

Max W. Hamman, 948 Co. Rd. 35, Ashley, IN 46705-9744

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