Hazard A Guess: Week of Jan. 24, 2002

Hello from Hazard!

Well, I knew I’d get you rolling with Item No. 636 – it was easier, but it’s a fun one, as many readers included their own memories of using the gizmo.

For those of you who had never seen Item No. 636, it’s a hand corn planter, or jab planter. That’s right, a hand corn planter.

You put seed corn into the hopper and there’s a reel at the bottom of the hopper that turns and puts the kernels into place. With a foot-activated pedal, you push the right side into the earth, then tip it toward the left. It opens to release 4-5 kernels into the ground, then when you pull it out of the ground it closes the bottom and moves another kernel into place.

It was, as Andrew Miller of Fresno, Ohio, puts it: “A good job for boys 70 years ago!”

We also heard from Larry Fargo from Ashtabula, Ohio; E.A. Zeller of Beloit, Ohio (who used a jab planter when he was growing up on his grandfather’s farm); George Ridenour of Ravenna, Ohio (who has the one his grandad used back in Tennessee); Robert E. Smith of Southington, Ohio; Sam E. Hershberger, Apple Creek, Ohio; Charlie Christie, Atwater, Ohio; Reuben Altman, Shippenville, Pa.; Herbert Witzgall, Moundsville, W.Va.; William Logsdon, Salem, Ohio (who also used one as a boy); and Laurence Logan of Perry, Ohio, who adds, “When we moved to a farm in 1947, I was 7 years old. We found a planter of that type in the barn and Dad thought it would be ‘neat’ to use it to plant the garden corn. Glad he didn’t plant the field corn that way!”

Logan also observes, “It was really quite ingenious, as most farm tools were.” How true!

I’m sure there will be more correct answers coming in, as the federal holiday on Monday closed the post office, which might have delayed your cards and letters.

Russ Garber of Canfield heard our plea for more “hazard” items and shares this week’s mystery tool. As you can see, it’s about 18 inches long. What do you think it was used for?

Send your answers to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via email, editorial@farmanddairy.com.

You can check out Hazard a Guess online at www.farmanddairy.com. Click on the “Hazard a Gress” link along the left-hand side for the past four weeks’ columns.

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