Hazard A Guess: Week of March 5, 2009

ITEM NO. 857

Hello from Hazard!

The mailbag was heavy this week and the e-mail inbox overflowed with guesses for an item we showed two weeks ago, Item No. 856.

Les Howell of Beach City, Ohio, said the item he shared with us is a Babbitt bearing scraper — agreeing this week were R. McCartney via e-mail, along with John Kent of Huron, Ohio, and Bill Shriber of Hartville, Ohio — but we also heard from several Hazard fans who said the item was something completely different.

Readers Myron Farquhar of Jeromesville, Ohio; Don Green of Kirtland, Ohio; Allan Lines of Worthington, Ohio; and Gene Carrel (via e-mail) all said the item was a soldering iron. Lines said the clean copper tip of the tool was heated in a flame, “tinned” with solder, and then used to melt solder to join items.

Another reader, Steve Kramer, guessed the tool was used for patching tires, with the point and handle used to force patch material through the hole.

We’re glad for so many responses, but this one looks like a toss-up. We’ll stick with Howell’s own claim for now.

* * *

Also in the mail this week was some information regarding Item No. 851, which was a real stumper and received very few responses. We’re inclined to think Robert Rauhauser of Thomasville, Pa., knows just what he’s talking about on this one, since even his return address stickers identify him as a collector of hay mow forks.

Robert wrote that he farmed all his life and for more than 50 years has collected old farming tools, with a top interest being loose haying tools like Item No. 851, which he identifies as a Sprout single horse hay fork. Besides collecting, he also researches the patents on the tools and their advertising. Many thanks, Robert, for passing along copies of these materials to us, and for sharing your invaluable knowledge on the subject.

* * *

For now, Item No. 857 is still a mystery, so we’ll give you another week to send your most Hazard-ous guesses.

Write to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail to: editorial@farmanddairy.com.

And if you’ve got a Hazard-ous item in your shed, barn or basement, send us a photo or digital photo file, along with a complete description of the item and its use. You can use the contact information above, or even send a photo via our Web site.

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