October 2014 Mystery Tool A
A. Mud lug. Easily strapped on to rear wheel when stuck in mud or snow. See patent 1,309,020. Photo submitted by Kenny Bush, Andalusia, Illinois.
Patent no. 1,309,020: Gripping attachment for automobile wheels. Patent granted to Walter Creek, Las Animas, Colo., July 8, 1919.
October 2014 Mystery Tool B
A. Unidentified. Levi S. Yoder, Middlefield, Ohio, believes it to be a horseshoe remover. “With the jaws opened wide,” he says, “it is squeezed between the shoe and the hoof, squeezed lightly with the handles working back and forth, thus freeing the shoe.” Photo submitted by Richard Bader, Middletown, New York.
October 2014 Mystery Tool C
A. Large sprocket likely from farm equipment such as a manure spreader. Appears that the sprocket was also part of a “slip clutch,” protecting it from an overload and breaking the drive chain or some other part. Identified by Robert Scholz, Elmo, Missouri; Dwight Brown, Wynne, Arkansas; Ronald Gasser, Sterling, Ohio. Photo submitted by Don Chambers, Urbana, Illinois.
October 2014 Mystery Tool D
A. Turnip krauter. Used in making sauerkraut from turnips rather than cabbage. The small knives beneath the larger blade shredded the turnip to the proper consistency for kraut. Identified by Harry Jones, Brookings, South Dakota; Brett Kaltvedt, Piedmont, South Dakota; Garry Townsley, Sardinia, Ohio; Leonard Keifer, Gaithersburg, Maryland; Fred Aten, Hutchinson, Minnesota; and Richard Raber, Effingham, Illinois. “I have nine in my collection and all vary in style and quality of construction,” Richard says. “The one pictured is a well-made piece compared to many. These were used by settlers of German descent; nothing that they had or grew was wasted. When there was an abundance of turnips, they made turnip kraut or turnip slaw, basically substituting turnips for cabbage. One thing that cannot be seen on the photos is very short vertical knives or blades under the large knife that is visible in the pictures. To use it, cut the top and bottom off a turnip and set it in the middle of the round board. Push the handle down until the four blades shown are pressed into the turnip. Turn the crank and the turnip will be shredded into small strips similar to shoestring potatoes. Note the blade is off center so it cuts as the turnip rotates. The rectangular base would sit on a large crock so the shreds would go directly into the crock for making the kraut.” See patent 579,816 for a similar piece. Photo submitted by Larry Mayer, Jeffersonville, Ohio.
Patent no. 579,816: Vegetable cutter. Patent granted to Henry X. Buchmann, St. Louis, Mo., March 30, 1897.
October 2014 Mystery Tool E
A. Unidentified. Photo submitted by Wayne Rowell, Wilmington, Vermont.
Walter S. Campbell, Duncannon, Pennsylvania, not only recognized Item E from June 2014: He had one – a mouth speculum for sheep or goats – in his collection, as well as the device used to insert medication into the animal’s mouth. “I watched my father use one years ago,” he says. “Insert the tool loaded with a pill in between the two horizontal bars on the speculum while prying the animal’s mouth open. Squeeze the tongs and the pill drops into the animal’s throat.”