August 2021 Mystery Tools

Contraptions identified from the pioneer inventor days.

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Farm Collector Magazine editors

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.

A. Unidentified. Photo submitted by Marvin Hunger, Winona, Minn.

B. Cooper’s chamfer drawknife. Used in barrel making. Identified by Michael Rodemeyer, Hartsburg, Mo. Photo submitted by William Hlavac Jr., Montgomery, Minn.

C. Roderick Lean cultivator wrench. Based in Ohio, the Roderick Lean company manufactured implements. Identified by P.T. Rathbone, Marsing, Idaho. Photo submitted by Jeff Arch, Kewanee, Ill.

D. Pump for a barrel of molasses. Used at general stores to fill customers’ containers. Photo submitted by Ronald Bennett, Victor, N.Y.

E. No positive identification. Possibly a kite string tensioner. Photo submitted by Melvin L. Blackford, Bartow, Fla.

F. Unidentified. Photo submitted by Melvin L. Blackford, Bartow, Fla. Arthur Bailey, Wilmington, Vt., believes Item F is a sheet metal forming stake. “It looks like a one-piece casting but with the top edge so straight the top surface must have been machined to provide the proper working surface.

Bob Mitchell, Kindred, N.D., believes this item to be a wrench used to remove flush plugs, such as sewer cleanouts or underground tanks. From the December 2021 issue.

To submit photos: Send prints to Farm Collector, 1503 SW 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 markings on the piece, and your name, city and state. We cannot guarantee every photo will be published. Photos will not be returned.
  • Digital photos should be sent as .jpegs at a minimum of 300 dpi.
  • Updated on Jul 20, 2021
  • Originally Published on Jul 1, 2021
Tagged with: Wooden Tool
Farm Collector Magazine
Farm Collector Magazine
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