Here are photos of an unknown device with “Eli Tank Heater Co – DeKalb, Ill.” cast into it. George Silas Long operated the company out of DeKalb, Ill. Long lived in Hinckley, DeKalb County, Ill., for some time and invented a tank heater there. Later, he patented a windmill regulator while living in the city of DeKalb, Ill.
After looking at Long’s patent for the tank heater, I cannot figure out how this device had a connection, if any, to a tank heater. Does this piece have a connection to a tank heater or does it bear the company’s operating name and was just another unrelated marketed item? It has a threaded crank on the top with 2-1/2 inches of threads. The bottom of the crankshaft accepts a square piece, possibly a drill bit. There is a forked part on the bottom. It also has two screw holes that logically seem like a place to attach the tool for better support. There are no visible patent dates or part numbers in the casting.
George Silas Long, Hinckley, Ill., received a patent (no. 593,055) for a tank heater Nov. 2, 1897. His windmill regulator was patented Jan. 28, 1902 (no. 692,158).
Jeff J. Marshall
14701 Gurler Rd.
DeKalb, IL 60115-8710