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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 six sent in by readers. Do you know what they are? Answers to the November 2017 items will appear in the January 2018 issue.

Answers for new items in this issue must be received by Nov. 3, 2017.


A. Measures about 8 inches long.

B. Made of wood. Measures about 2 feet long by 5 inches; channel runs the length of the piece.

C. Tool measures 5 inches long; cutters are fairly sharp.

D. Found in the Badlands, Alberta, Canada. Tag reads "McCormick Deering Hamilton ON."

E. Cast iron two-piece tool; not spring-loaded.

F. Measures approximately 8 inches wide and about 5-6 inches deep. Made of solid, heavy metal approximately 1-1/2 inches thick. No holes or significant markings.


A. Common weed puller missing the handle. Identified by Randy Winland, Prospect, Ohio; John Shuchardt, Elkhorn, Wis.; Fred Heidt, Cambria, Wis.; Mark Mullen, Carlisle, Pa.; Steve Grisbee, Cheyenne, Wyo.; Bill Bracy, Murfreesboro, Tenn.; Noah Shetler, Mayville, N.Y.; Charles Chegwyn, McMinnville, Ore.; and Richard Bader, Middletown, N.Y. "This is the business end of a weed pulling tool," Randy says. "It is missing the handle, which would be similar to a broomstick or small pitchfork handle. The prongs were shoved into the ground on either side of the weed using the handle to push down with, after which the lever was pushed down with your foot to close the jaws around the weed, which was then wiggled back and forth to loosen before being pulled from the ground. These worked especially well with dandelions." See patent no. 1,065,606 for a similar tool. Photo submitted by Gordon Greene, Lakeview, Ore.

B. Early tire bead breaker. The lip on the long piece hooks over the center hole of the rim. The swinging arm will hang straight down and can be adjusted to match the diameter of the rim where the butterfly end can press down on the bead where it meets the rim. Pressure applied to the outer end of the long piece will break the bead away from the rim. Identified by Roscoe Smith, Griffin, Ga.; Robert Scholz, Elmo, Mo.; Larry Beuzenburg Sr., Irving, N.Y.; Richard Bader, Middletown, N.Y; and Bill Bracy. Photo submitted by Don Nordboe via email.

C. Unidentified. Photo submitted by Don Nordboe via email.

D. Unidentified. Photo submitted by Richard Bader, Middletown, New York.

E. Used to cut cable or wire rope up to 3/4-inch in diameter. Tool still available today. sIdentified by Keith Wick, Winfred, S.D.; Thomas D. Hauk, Kingsport, Tenn.; BZ Cashman, Blue Ridge, Ga.; Tom Warden, Maplewood, Minn.; Roseo Smith; Harry Jones, Brookings, S.D.; Amos J. Gay, Dayton, Maine; Robert Scholz; Gene Hoenig, Gainesville, Texas; Pete Joliff, Connersville, Ind.; Ellis Macha, Renwick, Iowa; John Shuckhardt; Mark Mullen; Debbie Boyse, Clio, Mich.; Steve Grisbee; Steve Jaouen, Greeley, Colo.; Greg Ackerly, Schuylerville, N.Y; Spencer Greenhill, Luther, Mich.; David R. Uthe, Boone, Iowa; Noah Shetler, Mayville, N.Y; Richard Bader, Middletown, N.Y; and Rich Stone, Colfax, Wis. See patent no. 1,769,001. Photo submitted by Jake K. Ferrrari, Newry, Pa.

F. Armature recutting tool. Identified by Robert Scholz, Elmo, Mo.; Gene Hoenig; Dave Hughes, New Market, Iowa; Richard Bader, Middletown, N.Y; and Steve Grisbee. "These were used to turn and clean a commutator on a DC motor or generator," Dave says. "The tool pictured at top is used to turn the commutator to get rid of groves left by the carbon brushes and the bottom tool was used to clean between the segments of the commutator. There were different widths of groves, depending on the diameter of the commutator. That is the reason for different widths of the cutters." See patent no. 2,357,765.

Photo submitted by Dexter Bennett, Charleston, Vt.
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Title Annotation:WHAT IS IT?
Publication:Farm Collector
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Nov 1, 2017
Previous Article:Rules can't replace common sense.

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