Hello from Hazard!
Life is good: I knew readers wouldn’t leave us hanging, but would tell us exactly what Item No. 625 was. And they didn’t disappoint us.
Five readers agree that it’s a banding tool that uses wire: Jack Switzer and Charles Addicott, both of Cortland, Ohio; Al Habegger, North Jackson, Ohio; Stanley Carpenter of Lewisville, Ohio; and Raleigh Konkle of Ravenna, Ohio.
But we get the real scoop from Phillip Lovejoy of the Pittsburgh area. This particular bander was used for years in the newspaper publishing industry to tie bundles of newspapers together for delivery. Before Lovejoy entered the teaching profession, he operated a recycling/document destruction business and used these daily. Here’s his description of how the tool was used:
“You would place this tying machine on top of a stack of newspapers, about in the middle of the paper bundle. Looking at the photograph in your publication what you would do then is place a piece of wire in a wire holder just slightly left of the handle. This wire is slightly smaller than regular baler wire or electric fence wire.
“Then you would pull this wire to the right, (as you can see in the photo there is a large gear attached to the handle), the wire would slide into a slot in this gear and then continue to wrap to the right. You would then wrap it under and around the bundle of newspaper coming up to where you originally placed the wire and continue past the gear. (By the way, this would be done on what is called a horn, it looks just like a shoe horn, which aids you in wrapping the wire around the bundle.)
“Once the wire is in place you would then pull tightly on the wire. Once this was done you pulled the handle down, which would twist the wire in one direction, it would then click, and then you pulled the handle up. As it went up it twisted the wire in the other direction. At the top of the stroke it would automatically cut the wire and your bundle was securely tied.”
Our thanks to all the readers who clarified our mini-mystery.
This week’s item was spotted in the “Items of Yesteryear” building during the Columbiana County Fair (if you saw it there, too, you should abstain from guessing!). It measures about 6-8 inches in diameter and is about 3-4 inches high. What do you think it is?
Send your guesses to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.