May 2017 Mystery Tool A
Watchmaker’s gear-cutting engine. This one may have been built in Spain. Identified by Randall Marquis, Tacoma, Wash., and Robert Stoxen, Morris, Minn. Photo submitted by Craig Conrad, Yellow Springs, Ohio.
May 2017 Mystery Tool B
Part of an Iron Age potato planter, circa 1900 to 1920. Identified by Jared Skroch, St. Wendel, Minn. “This item screened/filtered potatoes from inside the hopper to the rotating disk that dispenses them into the conveying process that takes the seed to the ground,” Jeremy says. Photo submitted by Sue Gulliver, Buckley, Mich.
Interior view of the hopper of Jeremy Skroch’s Iron Age potato planter. All but one of the wooden “fingers” are missing. The unit is stamped “p109.” Image courtesy Jeremy Skroch.
May 2017 Mystery Tool C
Device for lasting boots and shoes used to stretch leather. Identified by Gary Studebaker, Larwill, Ind., and Richard Bader, Middletown, N.Y. See patent no. 225,806 for a similar piece. Photo submitted by Jim Heaslip, Hagersville, Ontario, Canada.
Patent no. 225,806: Device for lasting boots and shoes. Patent granted to Alexander Davidson, Lamira, Ohio, March 23, 1880.
May 2017 Mystery Tool D
Shoe/boot lasting pinchers used to stretch leather. Identified by Randy Winland, Prospect, Ohio; Gary Studebaker; Raymond L. Fox, Brewster, Neb.; Richard Bader; Allen J. Vetsch, Rochester, Minn.; and Fred Briehl, Penobscot, Maine. See patent no. 372,246. Photo submitted by Frank Kuehl, Neenah, Wis.
Patent no. 372,246: Lasting pinchers. Patent granted to Frank M. Whitcher, Boston, Mass., Oct. 25, 1887.
May 2017 Mystery Tool E
Unidentified. Photo submitted by Roger Krueger, Pine River, Wis.
May 2017 Mystery Tool F
Ice shredder. Design patent no. 27,613. In use, device placed over a drinking glass. Identified by Allen J. Vetsch, who says, “one of mine is similar, except it has a cup mounted on top so as you shave off the ice, it goes into the cup, so you can pour it into your drink.” See patent no. 27,613. Photo submitted by Richard Bader, Middletown, N.Y.
Design patent no. 27,613: Ice shredder. Patent granted to H. L. Schwarzenberg, Cleveland, Ohio, Aug. 31, 1897.
Paul Christofferson, Underwood, Iowa, sent this envelope showing a “drenching bit” in action. The piece was featured in the March 2017 issue of Farm Collector. Paul’s envelope, which
clearly shows how the piece was used, carries an 1895 postmark.
Sam Schoenhals, Ridgecrest, Calif., believes Item B from the March 2017 issue may have been misidentified. In the May issue of Farm Collector, Item B was identified as a PRS-7A piston ring expander, manufactured by Blue Point U.S. “This tool is in fact a wire stripper,” Sam says. “Blue Point also manufactured a piston ring expander, which is similar in appearance to the
PRS-7A wire stripper. The patent number listed in the answer of the May issue is for the piston ring expander.”