Thanksgiving greetings from Hazard!
We knew you wouldn’t disappoint us: The good news is, both Items No. 606 and 607 drew fan mail this week. The bad news is, three sets of readers think Item No. 607 is three different things – close, but different uses. Stay tuned.
Let’s start with Item No. 606, the barbell-like item that many readers mistakenly thought was a sock darner. Shirley Rydzinski of Newburgh Heights, Ohio, received a couple of confirming votes (no, I don’t need to recount) on her contention that it was, indeed, a handheld weight.
Betty Sunday of Hermitage, Pa., a P.E. teacher for 34 years, writes: “They were usually used in pairs for exercise, usually in gym exhibitions where routines would be memorized and put to music.” She has a pair with a 1 pound weight marking on them that look identical to our Hazard item.
Alida Moore of Emlenton, Pa., and Barbara Cooper of Garrettsville, Ohio, agree, as does Keith Turner (sorry, Keith, you forgot to include your hometown). Turner adds that the barbell was popular during the health craze of the 1920s, fostered in America by the likes of W.K. Kellogg and others.
And now on to Item No. 607, shared by Walter Best of Lisbon, Ohio. I guess we have to go first with the most frequently received response: a thread cutter. A rod is inserted into the center hole and held fast in a vice. Then the tool is rotated manually and the threads cut by the cutting dies in the center. Obviously, the wing nut can be loosened and different cutters used for different rod materials or screw threads.
Weighing in with this answer were: Keith Turner; Bob Moorhead of Shreve, Ohio; Fred Heaberlin of New Castle, Pa. (who is a voice of experience as a machinist since 1943); Earl Schmucker of Louisville, Ohio; and LeRoy Geibel of Rimersburg, Pa.
Second round of guesses favored Item No. 607 as a device for making cables, twisting wire or cable around wire. We heard from Annie Miller; Elaine Visser of Washington, Pa.; and Dean Brown, West Sunbury, Pa., on this guess.
And finally, two readers offer a convincing answer: It’s a tool for installing armor rod on electric lines where aluminum cable is used. George Miller of Bellaire, Ohio, says the armor rod protects the cable where it is in the suspension shoes.
Paul Naylor, operations manager for Carroll Electric Co-op, Carrollton, Ohio, also says its an armor rod tool, and includes a copy of a May 1962 catalog page that shows a similar gadget. The catalog description reads:
“Even feed and snug fit are assured when preformed rods are installed with Kearney Armor Rod Tools. Aluminum alloy one-piece construction is easier to tighten on the conductor than the hinged type, especially when installing long rods. Jaw closes in a straight line, nesting the conductor between die halves without cramping it…”
So there you don’t have it. Since the individual who shared the item didn’t have a clue what it was, we can’t say definitively that it is or isn’t one of the above. The muddy mystery continues and gives you something other than the presidential election to talk about over the Thanksgiving turkey.
So, we must move on: Item No. 608 comes from Patricia Thompson of Mercer, Pa. Any ideas?
Send your responses to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org (don’t forget to include your hometown so we can make you famous).
Until next week.