June 2015 Mystery Tool A
Portable vulcanizing devices for tires. “The part shown with flanges is missing the bottom half, which was used to patch tubes,” says Dick Kates. The others shown are missing a clamping device used to clamp the part to the tire. You put a patch on the hole or tear, clamped the device on and then filled the pronged portion with gas or alcohol and lit it, cooking the patch.” Identified by Stephen Clemens, Mazeppa, Minnesota; Ram A. Cnaan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Gary Studebaker, Larwill, Indiana; Richard Bader, Middletown, New York; and Dick Kates, Oakland, Iowa. Photo submitted by Bob Popeck, Batavia, Illinois. See patent no. 1,057,911 for a similar piece.
The Adamson Vulcanizer Model S for “private garages and repair shops,” especially designed for repairing inner tubes. Image courtesy Rob Hartmann.
Patent no. 1,057,911: Portable vulcanizing device for tires. Patent granted to Cecil F. Adamson, Akron, Ohio, April 1, 1913.
June 2015 Mystery Tool B
Hand-press brick mold. Identified by Stuart Tomlinson, Paola, Kansas. “Back in the day, all bricks were hand-packed into molds prior to the firing process,” Stuart says. “The wedge shape of this mold was a pattern for brick to be laid in a circular pattern, such as a brick smokestack or round chimney. After turning the brick circle, the gaps were filled with mortar. Refractory bricks were also formed in such molds for hearths or vertical kilns. ‘Hod’ indicates mud. Those who mined mud for the bricking process were called hod carriers. There were many brands, such as Indian, Cowan, Snowball, etc.” Photo submitted by Michael Emick, Lamar, Colorado.
June 2015 Mystery Tool C
Honey section comb foundation fastener. The tool is used to align and lock in place a piece of milled, dovetailed wood that created a frame for foundation wax in a beehive. Identified by James Mayne, Edmeston, New York, and Dick Kates. Photo submitted by John Wenzel, Newalla, Oklahoma. See patent no. 1,127,568. That patent describes multiple functions performed by this tool and related pieces not shown here. In the photo at right, when the handle is lifted, the right end is pressed down, locking the dovetail in place while the square frame is held in place.
The section former in use, creating a frame used in a beehive to hold foundation wax.
Patent no. 1,127,568: Honey section former and comb foundation fastener. Patent granted to Albert G. Woodman, Rapid City, Michigan, Feb. 9, 1915.
June 2015 Mystery Tool D
Unidentified; possibly a line post for an elaborate fence. Photo submitted by Jim Allen, Nekoosa, Wisconsin.
June 2015 Mystery Tool E
Archimedes (or spiral) screwdriver. Identified by Gary Studebaker and Dick Kates. “It is the smaller of two screwdrivers produced under a Dec. 12, 1882, patent issued to A.H. Reid, Philadelphia,” Dick says. See patent no. 268,938. Photo submitted by Ed Risenhoover, Hugo, Oklahoma.
Patent no. 268,938: Bit stock. Patent granted to A.H. Reid, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Dec. 12, 1882.
Item E, March 2015: James Martino, Oxford, Ohio and Erwin Fullerton, S. Woodstock, Vermont, believe Item E from March 2015 to be part of a food sieve. In use, Erwin says, the wooden piece was rotated as it pressed food through holes in a cone-shaped sieve. “The wire extending off the neck of the presser cleared the holes as the device was turned,” he says.
Item A, April 2015: “U.S. Patent 886,394 (right) is an earlier version of Item A,” says Royce Winge, Ames, Iowa. “Issued May 5, 1908, it has the U.S. patent number stamped on one side of the hammer head, and a Canadian patent number on the other side. Both patents were granted to George E. Morris, Regina, Saskatchewan. The 1915 patent referenced in the June issue refers to Morris during a period of time in which he lived in Minneapolis.
“These tools were meant to expand the boiler tubes, most likely, of stationary and traction-type steam engines, to provide a tight fit in the end plates of the boiler. The tool also curled or beaded the end of the tube to (guessing) limit the sliding of the tube within the end plate with temperature changes of the boiler. I have no idea whether these tools were used in new construction or for repair and maintenance, or both.”