Hello from Hazard!
The mailbag and the e-mail box was overflowing with more correct identification of Item No. 828, which is a universal spanner wrench, used to tighten and remove swivels and nozzles, or couplings, from fire hoses. The belt hook eye let it hang on a firefighter’s coat; a hammer head was equally useful and there’s also an slot that can be used as a gas key, to shut off gas valves.
It can still be found on just about any fire truck you see.
Readers Gary Amstutz of Shreve, Ohio, and Ken Lingle of Smithville, Ohio, should know. They both work at Akron Brass in Wooster — where they make and sell the wrenches to fire departments. Amstutz says they’re made from aluminum today, but are just as strong.
We also heard from: R. Grimm of Warren, Ohio; Jim Scott of Hookstown, Pa. (who’s used one many times as a firefighter); Brad Davis of Streetsboro, Ohio; Bob Shimits, a firefighter and paramedic in Solon, Ohio; Richard Hill of Medina, Ohio; Tim Flave, Cleveland; Earl Whitehill of Georgetown, Pa.; Hank Shores, Wheeling, W.Va.; Bob Napier; Dave Linscott, Millfield, Ohio; and Zachary Lewton.
Hugh Coffman of Marietta, Ohio, also identified the tool, but also sent a gentle reminder that Hazard has shown this tool before.
Hugh, I believe you’re right, but we were too slow to start a list back in the late 1980s when we started Hazard a Guess.
All that mail, but nothing on Item No. 829, so we’ll show it here again this week.
It comes from Jim Hudkins of Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He said he’s had this item of a long time, but he doesn’t know what it was designed to do. Do you know?
Send your answers to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.