Wanted: Gadgets, gizmos and contraptions

| September 2005

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 three sent in by readers. Do you know what they are?

August's mystery tools

A. Transmission spring compressor for Model T Ford. Owned by Stan Pollard of Salmon Arm, B.C., Canada. According to a similar patent (no. 1,433,944), "All of the springs are simultaneously compressed and held and the shafts are prevented from rocking in their bearings when the removable section of the casing is being replaced on the transmission casing."

B. Unknown. Owned by Joe Greiwe of Batesville, Ind. There were no guesses as to what this item might be, so it remains a mystery.

C. Ash pan. Owned by Harold Randall of Springport, Mich. This is apparently an ash pan for a stove. No other information was submitted.

Above: A similar patent, no. 1,433,944, was issued to H.R. Downey on Oct. 31, 1922.

From July:

John Olson of Parsons, Kan., claims this is a sole press, used to form pieces of leather used in shoe repair. Bob Wittersheim of Carleton, Mich., thinks this is an incomplete fruit press used to make cider or wine.

HOW TO SEND "What-Is-It?" photos and/or identifications to Farm Collector: Photos of submitted items should be taken in a well-lighted area against a plain background if possible. Due to the volume of material we receive, we cannot guarantee when submitted material will be published.

Items may be sent by:

Regular mail:Farm Collector, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609.

E-mail: editor@FarmCollector.com

For digital photos, adjust "image size" to "full," "3:2" or "UXGA." Adjust "image quality" to "high" or "fine." For scanned photos, use "300 dpi;" send "jpeg."