June 2021 Mystery Tools
Can you name these gizmos and gadgets?
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. Do you know what they are?
Answers to the June 2021 items originally appeared in the August 2021 issue and can be found below.
A. The long handle, which is tapered, measures 36 inches long, 1-1/4 inch thick and 1-1/2-inches wide. The short handle, also tapered, measures 21 inches long and 1-1/4 inches thick. The bow (which measures 56 inches in length by 4-1/2 inches wide) is broken in the middle. The wooden bolt is 3-1/2 inches long by 1/2-inch.
B. Piece measures about 37 inches tall. Crosspiece measures about 15 inches wide.
photo by: Photo submitted by Kent Blackburn, Carleton Place/ Beckwith, Ontario.
C. What was this used for? The rough-cast tool measures about 5-1/8 inches long. The chisel end is about 1 inch wide and 2 inches tall overall. Pointed end measures about 2-1/2 inches tall. Casting is very rough on one side and has what looks to be machine marks on the other side. Chisel end shows signs of heavy hammering; pointed end shows little use.
photo by: Photo submitted by Edward Gilman, Sebastian, Fla.
D. Tool measures 12 inches long; round portion is 3-1/4 inches across.
photo by: Photo submitted by Steve Thoune, Menominee, Mich.
E. Tool measures about 2 inches by 6 inches.
photo by: Photo submitted by Ron Bennett, Victor, N.Y.
F. Appears to be a priming cup of some sort, but for what? Bottom has a half-inch female pipe.
photo by: Photo submitted by Frank Kuehl, Neenah, Wis.
To identify an item:
Send answers (with your name and address) to Farm Collector, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609.
Email responses may be sent to email@example.com.
Answers to June 2021 Mystery Tools
A. Animal poke used to prevent animals from getting through the many early weak fences. See patent 246,355 for a similar device.
B. No positive identification. Possibly an early, homemade walker for a person with mobility issues.
C. Buffer, likely blacksmith-made. A farrier’s tool used to release nails when removing a horseshoe. A nail punch on the right end is used to clean or widen nail holes in the shoe. Identified by Rob Long, Englewood, Tenn.; Ralph Curtiss, West Grove, Pa.; Jim Heder, Alma, Kan.; Murray Brown, Hamilton, New Zealand; R.L. Gorsett, Silt, Colo.; Harold Kaufman, Porterfield, Wis.; Everett W. Demeritt, No. Wolcott, Vt.; Erwin Fullerton, S. Woodstock, Vt.; Alan Wickey, Homer, Mich.; and Charles Wyatt Law, age 13, Kamiah, Idaho.
“The wide chisel is used to cut horseshoe nail clinches before pulling the shoe,” Ralph says. “The point is used to rehabilitate nail holes in the shoe before resetting it. This one was forged from a worn-out hoof rasp. You can see the remains of the teeth. Since the rasp was high-carbon steel, the chisel was probably hardened after forging.”
From Charles Wyatt Law: “This is a clinch cutter. It is for cutting clinches. When a shoe needs to be taken off a horse’s hoof, it was used to cut the bent-over nails, which are called clinches. It was not cast, but has been forged out of a horse rasp. If it had been cast, it would have been too brittle. The marks are not machine marks, but are the teeth of the rasp. The chisel end is used to cut the clinches. The pointed end is a pritchel.”
D. Unidentified. Possibly used to straighten disc blades or other bent objects.
August 2021 Mystery Tools
Help us identify these gadgets, gizmos and contraptions from the pioneer inventor days.