Farm Collector

Answers to February 2010 Mystery Tools

To view images of all four February 2010 mystery tools and accompanying patent illustrations, click the Image Gallery link to the right.

A. Tire chain tool for construction or repair of chain tire grips, as identified by Lindley Kessler, Gresham, Neb.; Fred Garlinghouse, Barbeau, Mich.; Maurice Davis, Conklin, N.Y.; Virgil Cassill, Drakesville, Iowa; Skip Weed, Schuylerville, N.Y.; Richard Wooster, Manning, Iowa; Buck and Cathy Evans, Ft. Lupton, Colo.; Richard C. Bader, Middletown, N.Y.; Joel Blasius, Tea, S.D.; James H. Nelson, Ennis, Mont.; L.E. Ternes, Ledyard, Iowa; Duane Plummer, Bargersville, Ind.; Roy Parmeter, Duncans Mills, Calif.; Robert Banderob, Darby, Mont.; and Willard Ottman, Lemmon, S.D. Photo submitted by Norman S. Perttunen, Warren, Mich. See patent 1,141,877.

B. Saw set wrest, as identified by Bruce Mitchell, Wantage, N.J.; Tom Jennings, Chesterfield, Va.; and Ralph Najarian, Manhattan, Kan. “The slots in the blade were of different widths to correspond to different thicknesses of saw blades,” Tom explains. “The slot in the tool would be slid down over the tooth of the saw blade and pressure applied, using the handle, to bend the tooth to the proper angle, usually 15 to 20 degrees.” Photo submitted by Warren Fick, Durant, Iowa.

C. We don’t know what this is. Loren Etter, Mora, Minn., wonders if it is some kind of crate or barrel top tool; Lyle Olson, Faribault, Minn., speculates that it might be a fence tightener. Photo submitted by Jake Ferrari, Newry, Pa.

D. Horn weights, as identified by D. Gatzemeyer, Lincoln, Neb.; Lindley Kessler; Mil Harr, Denver; Fred Garlinghouse; John Crofoot, New Era, Mich.; Orrin Johnson, Alexandria, Minn.; Mike Deplazes, Crary, N.D.; Richard Schallau, Spencer, Iowa; Ed Terry, Northfield, Minn.; Daniel Aasen, Pine City, Minn.; Ken Hunter, Allerton, Ill.; Linda Star, Corsica, S.D.; Bob Wittersheim, Carleton, Mich.; Rudy Miller, Wortham, Texas; Gailey Henderson, Williamstown, W.Va.; Tony Friga, Pomona, Mo.; Jim Heder, Alma, Kan.; Lloyd Weber, Riverside, Iowa; Loren Etter; Lyle Olson; Charles Dow, Rockford, Ill.; Robert Blake, Pine River, Wis.; Virgil Cassill; Ed Sedlezky, Custer, S.D.; Jim and Patsy Carter, Greenwood, Del.; Bill Combs, Colchester, Ill.; Albert Cook, Okemos, Mich.; Stephen Clemens, Mazeppa, Minn.; J.E. Benson, Galesburg, Ill.; John Brown, Falmouth, Ind.; Duane Steffes, Kent, Wash.; Marvin Hansen, Guelph, N.D.; Earl Hartzog, Hoxie, Kan.; Bob Unick, Pleasanton, Neb.; Richard Wooster; Maynard Lundebrek, Clontarf, Minn.; Wayne Cooper, Fombell, Pa.; Buck and Cathy Evans; Gerald Shelburne, Thornton, Ind.; Bill Mattingly, Owensboro, Ky.; Thomas Hauk, Kingsport, Tenn.; James H. Nelson; James N. Stinson Jr., Dublin, Ga.; Richard G. McDanolds, North Haverhill, N.H.; Dale Kincaid, Newmal, Ill.; Carl C. Friesch, Sullivan, Wis.; Sylvester Hoelscher, Robstown, Texas; Allen Persson, Roscoe, Ill.; Robert Smith, Craigmont, Idaho; Roy Parmeter; George B. Fix, Minot, N.D.; Larry Stafford, Ipswich, S.D.; Robert Banderob; Willard Ottman; Garland R. Goesch, Chimacum, Wash.; Dan Sullivan, Rockford, Wash.; Donald Labrune, Holland, Minn.; Keith Mahaffey, Enid, Okla.; and George Kruse, Redfield, Kan.

“When the horns on younger cattle weren’t turning down as they should, horn weights could be put over the ends and the screws tightened to hold them on,” explains Robert Blake. “They came in different sizes and weights to take care of varying ages and sizes of the horns and how much they needed to be turned. They were left on three or four weeks and then you’d check to see the results, or put them back on if they came off. It was best to confine the cattle to a small lot so you could find them again. If the horn was starting to make some turning (and that would be at the base where it was growing out), it might be best to take them off and let the horn grow out more and repeat a little later. If too heavy a weight was used and left on too long, the results would be a sharp angle in the horn and it would look very unnatural. Another method I’ve seen used is to drill a small hole in the end of each horn and string a heavy wire between the horns with some heavy chain links hanging on it. A halter would be left on the animal and the links loosely tied to it so they wouldn’t flop back over the head but still pull down on the horns. It takes a little experience but you can get a beautiful set of horns.”

Another use, according to D. Gatzemeyer: “They helped prevent injuries if two bulls (or cows) were fighting, and could be used to restrain a bovine by attaching a rope or chain to the weights.” And the numbers shown on the weights? “The 1-1/2 is the weight of the casting and they came in different weight sizes,” explains Marvin Hansen, “depending on what the showman wanted to accomplish and how fast.” Photo submitted by Duane Mattison, Baldwin, Wis. See patent 2,244,810 for a similar piece.

To submit photos:
Send prints to Farm Collector, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Send digital images to:

  • 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 (accompanied by your name and address) to Farm Collector, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Send e-mail responses to

  • Published on Feb 22, 2010
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