| February 2003

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?

A. B. Wheelwright's wrench, used to tighten the nut between the spokes on wooden buggy wheels, owned by Jim Lovell of Weatherford, Okla. A number of people identified the wrench, including Glenn Karch of Haubstadt, Ind., Virgil Cassill of Drakesville, Iowa, Steve Mitchell of Elm City, N.C., and O.M. Ramsey of Fort Wayne, Ind. According to an 1888 patent sent by Jim Moffet of Modesto, III., 'The object of my invention is to provide an improved tool or device for applying and removing tire bolts to or from the wheels of vehicles ... to clamp the bolt to hold it from turning and to revolve the nut for the purpose of threading it.' No one was able to identify B., sent by Jim Moffet, does anyone know anything about it?

C. Sliding door hanger, which slid into a pocket in the wall usually between the parlor and dining room, sent by Stephen Miller of Virginia Beach, Va. According to O.M. Ramsey, the door pocket had a wooden track on each side that a four- or five-inch roller rested on. The rollers were connected to the door hanger (item C), which was connected to the door allowing for ease of movement and storage when not in use.

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.

Items may be sent by:

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


Farm Collector April 16Farm Collector is a monthly magazine focusing on antique tractors and all kinds of antique farm equipment. If it's old and from the farm, we're interested in it!

Save Even More Money with our SQUARE-DEAL Plan!

Pay now with a credit card and take advantage of our SQUARE-DEAL automatic renewal savings plan. You'll get 12 issues of Farm Collector for only $24.95 (USA only).

Or, Bill Me Later and send me one year of Farm Collector for just $29.95.

Facebook Pinterest YouTube


Copyright 2018, All Rights Reserved
Ogden Publications, Inc., 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, Kansas 66609-1265