Hello from Hazard!
Four readers shared another look at Item No. 688, which basically we’ve washed our hands of in frustration.
Longtime reader Robert Haas of Navarre, Ohio, agrees that it can’t be a straw puller, because the puller had a much longer rod length between the hook and the handle.
Haas thinks this mystery tool might be a tool used to cut the throat on a cow or pig being slaughtered, although he’s never seen it used.
Another longtime reader in New Castle, Pa., Fred Heaberlin, says it might be a hook-like puller to pull sawmill siding. “When you nailed the board to studs, to keep the boards the same width, you pulled the board down to the proper width. You would hook on top and slide to bottom edge.”
But Walt Fahrny of Rootstown, Ohio, says it may have been used in the early days of machine threshing to cut the bundles of grain before entering the thresher. And Dolores Chalmers of Broadview Heights, Ohio, takes a stab at it, too, saying it’s a barbed wire puller.
And so we remain in the murky land of “not exactly sure what it is” for Item No. 688.
Item No. 689. There was no such indecision on Item No. 689, as readers’ responses poured in this week.
It is a downspout hanger or bracket, with the spiked end imbedded in the mortar of a brick wall to hold the downspouts away from the building and yet secure. Some readers said a copper or other type of wire was then used to close the front of the bracket.
These were typically used for the old-style, round corrugated downspouts common on older houses.
Many of the readers who responded said they’ve used it many times, including retiree John Svoboda of Rome, Ohio, who writes: “I still have memories of dangling off a 60-foot extension ladder installing these as a young sheet metal worker.”
Our thanks to the other sharp-eyed readers:
Harold Schneider; Daniel Hart, Apple Creek, Ohio; Mike Pearch, New Philadelphia, Ohio; Harold Gingrich, Fredericksburg, Pa.; Jay Haines, Lowell, Ohio;
Tom Kaderly, West Palm Beach, Fla.; David Nylund, Stonecreek, Ohio; Don Ringer, Cambridge, Ohio; Robert E. Smith, Southington, Ohio; Walt Fahrny, Rootstown, Ohio;
Greg Zomcik, Waterford, Pa.; George Bordner, Louisville, Ohio; Barry Cornell, Gnadenhutten, Ohio; Bill Yates, Canton, Ohio; John Eikenberry; Dolores Chalmers, Broadview Heights, Ohio;
Barb Abel, Boardman, Ohio; Phil and Clay Saling, Caldwell, Ohio; Doug Knox, Claysville, Ohio; Kay Sigler, Canton, Ohio; Wayne Harley, New Brighton, Pa.;
John Kmiecik, Bedford, Ohio; Don Ragan, Prospect, Pa.; Henry J. Schrock, Sugarcreek, Ohio; Dale Hartenstein, Alliance, Ohio; and Ron Swiger, Richmond, Ohio.
Item No. 690. I had so much fun opening mail this week, let’s do it again. I believe we’ve used this one before, but with 689 items and counting, we’re bound to have repeats sooner or later.
This tool measures roughly 6 inches. Do you know what it is?
Send your answers to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
There is an early deadline for this section because of the Labor Day weekend, so we’ll be going to press with the Antique Collector even as you’re reading this week’s paper, so give yourself another week to send in your responses. Hazard will take a break next week.