To view images of all four March 2010 mystery tools and accompanying patent illustrations, click the Image Gallery link to the right.
A. Battery carrier, as identified by Brad Newcomb, Richview, Ill.; Melvin Blackford, Bartow, Fla.; Dwayne Madsen, Aurora, Neb.; Bill Paskiewicz, North Billerica, Mass.; Lew Payne, Remsen, N.Y.; John Pluckhahn, Glidden, Iowa; Thomas Hauk, Kingsport, Tenn.; Kent Dakin, Boyle, Miss.; Roy and Judy Archibald, Leavenworth, Ind.; John D. Crockett, East Falmouth, Mass.; Mike Porter, Oakwood, Ohio; Bruce Collins, Plant City, Fla.; Cameron Dakin, Cleveland, Miss.; Don Mathys, West Mansfield, Ohio; Ralph Reed, Newport, N.H.; Warren H. Zimmerman, Denver, Pa.; and Aron Griffin, Shirley, Mass.
“It was used to extract 6- or 12-volt car/truck batteries from battery boxes in engine compartments, from under seats or within the floor boards,” explains John Crockett. “The notches on the red handle allowed the sliding longer metal hook to be adjustable to the spread of the lead post on the battery. When the handle was lifted, the two post gripers wedged together onto the ‘+’ and ‘-’ post of the battery, allowing it to be carried. The wood on the handle did not pass the current or cause a short. My father had an Esso (later to become Exxon) gas station in Quincy, Mass. My brother and I worked many years there and used the same type tool often. My dad (who is 90) still has it hanging up in his garage.” Photo submitted by Gladys and Fred Smith, Mexico, Mo. See patent 2,435,549 for a similar piece.
B. There were no correct responses for this piece, which is a cartridge shell creaser. Photo submitted by Larry Mack. See patent 292,846 for a similar item. The tool shown in the photograph is likely an improved version of what is shown in the patent illustration.
C. No answers were received on this piece, and we have no idea what it is. Photo submitted by Darrell Carter, Fair Grove, Mo.
D. No positive identification on this piece.
Maurice Davis, Conklin, N.Y., believes it is a generator of the type once used on lanterns, gaslights and some stoves. “It was used to heat and vaporize the liquid that was used in lanterns and gaslights,” he says.
Ralph Reed thinks it is a safety overload pressure switch. Photo submitted by Lou Wallace, Coleman, Okla.
To submit photos:
Send prints to Farm Collector, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Send digital images to: email@example.com.
To identify an item:
Send answers (accompanied by your name and address) to Farm Collector, 1503 S.W. 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609. Send e-mail responses to firstname.lastname@example.org.