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
November’s mystery tools
A. Merlyn Irlbeck, Manning, Iowa, says that
this piece was used with a rope sling for hauling loose hay on a
hayrack; this was used as the “trip” to release the sling on one
end after the hay was in the barn. Photo submitted by Darrel
Heeren, Hastings, Neb.
B. Alan Marsh, Adrian, Minn., tags this as an
English wheel, used to take wrinkles out of car fenders. Quite
likely, this is one of a set. We also heard from O.K. Blackstone on
this item. Photo submitted by the Cimarron Heritage Center Museum,
Boise City, Okla.
C. Donald Walker, Buchanan Va., thinks this
item is a hog “anti-rooter” used to nip the end of a hog’s nose to
prevent rooting. “This item sold for $33 per dozen in the 1925
Belknap hardware catalog,” Donald reports. Photo submitted by Orin
Olson, Cascade, Mont.
A Identified on patent 739,901 as “P.A. Myers
hay tool,” this piece was patented on Sept. 29, 1903, Phillip A.
B This piece, identified on the patent as a
metal-working device used to remove dents on fenders, was patented
on June 20, 1944, by Vernon E. Robbins. The patent drawing shows
the device at work, with a piece of metal inserted between the
“anvil” and the wheel.
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. All
photos will not be returned.
Items may be sent by:
• Regular mail:Farm Collector, 1503
S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609.
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.”