March 2017 Mystery Tool A
Medicine bit used to medicate horses and other animals. Identified by John Kelso, Prescott, Ontario, Canada; Larry Harpster, Pennsylvania Furnace, Pa.; Bill Bracy, Murfreesboro, Tenn.; and Gary Studebaker, Larwill, Ind. “The apparatus is put on a horse in the same fashion as a bit and bridle with the ‘bit’ or tube going into the horse’s mouth,” Larry says. “This tube has holes in it. As liquid is poured into the funnel attachment, the horse swallows it, or at least that is the plan.” See patent no. 1,150,848 for a similar piece. Photo submitted by Steve Sylvester.
Patent no. 1,150,848: Veterinary apparatus. Patent granted to Joseph J. Biasiolli, San Antonio, Texas, Aug. 24, 1915.
March 2017 Mystery Tool B
Piston ring expander. Identified by Keith Wick, Winfred, S.D.; David Dietrich, St. Charles, Mich.; and Jake Ferrari, Newry, Pa. Used to expand piston rings to install or remove rings on pistons. “When overhauling a 6-cylinder gas engine, you would rebuild the connecting rods,” Jake says. “That included replacing the brass bushing on the top end. You would insert a new wrist pin in this vise to hold it as you continued to hone the six new brass bushings in the connecting rod to fit the new pin.” See patent no. 2,452,857 for a similar piece. Photo submitted by Don Freitag, Minier, Ill.
Patent no. 2,452,857: Piston ring tool. Patent granted to George Mesaros, Linden, N.J., Nov. 2, 1948.
March 2017 Mystery Tool C
Unidentified. Photo submitted by Erwin Fullerton, S. Woodstock, Vt.
March 2017 Mystery Tool D
Unidentified; possibly pipe holders. Photo submitted by Don Stiner, Catawissa, Pa.
March 2017 Mystery Tool E
Fence-building tool. The part shown is one piece of a two-piece tool. The tool was used to apply stay wires when building a fence. Many are marked “Brown Fence Co.” Identified by Richard Smith, Walnut Grove, Mo.; and Gailey Henderson, Williamstown, W. Va. See patent no. 687,526 for a similar item. Photo submitted by Don Schroeder, Berger, Mo.
Patent no. 687,526: Fence-building tool. Patent granted to Jonathan Harris, Cleveland, Ohio, assignor to Brown Fence & Wire Co., Cleveland.
March 2017 Mystery Tool F
Unidentified. Reader Jerry Balvin, Chelsea, Iowa, believes it might be a float from a very large gas tank. “I have a similar one with ‘Tokheim’ cast into it,” he says. Tokheim produced items used in connection with gasoline. Photo submitted by Tom Stanford via email.
Tom Best, Unionville, Pa., believes Item B from January 2016 to be a photographer’s chair from the mid-1800s. “Shutter speeds in the mid-1800s were slow, thus the blank stares associated with Civil War photography,” he says. “The same type of chair was also used for post-mortem photos. Deceased family members were placed on the chair and secured as best as possible. Photography was expensive in that era and often the post-mortem photo was the only memento a family had of a loved one.”