Hazard A Guess: Week of Oct. 11, 2001

Hello from Hazard!

The takers on Item No. 630 seem a little hesitant, but they’re guessing nonetheless. Extra credit goes to those who try.

Here’s what we’ve received on Item No. 630: Joe Betz, Library, Pa., says it looks like what was used to remove bread from the old-fashioned ovens, but those were wooden, but maybe it’s a paddle for removing bricks from an oven?

Fred Heaberlin of New Castle, Pa., agrees that it might be a “paddle” to remove items from an outdoor oven. He recalls friends who had a beehive outdoor oven in their backyard 65 years ago. They used a similar handled item to remove the bread pans from the oven. Jim Anderson of Canfield, Ohio, enters a similar guess, as does Wendell Cole of Lisbon, Ohio (who adds that it’s definitely only a guess).

Andrea Tumicki of Eighty Four, Pa., guesses it was used in the stirring of maple syrup or applebutter (but those were typically wooden, too).

The only different response came from Charles Williams of Evans City, Pa., who said it is a concrete spade used to work concrete along the forms to prevent honeycomb on the face of the wall. “The last time I used one was in 1947 on headwalls on storm sewers on a highway,” Williams writes.

He’s a minority, but Williams sounds right on target. Can anyone else confirm it?

Speaking of confirming past guesses, Wendell Cole raises a respectful objection to Bob Moore, who guessed that Item No. 627 is a wrench used to tighten or loosen the tools in a string of drilling tools. Cole says the cross sectional area of the handle is much too small and the extra notch in the “U” and the little curl on the open end would have no function for a drill string wrench.

Cole also says the wrench would have been very large and would weigh 200 to 1,500 pounds. “It may be a wrench for something, but not for a string of tools,” he adds.

Food for thought. This week’s item comes from Robert Miskimins of Alliance, Ohio. The ruler is 12 inches, so you can see it measures about 18 inches. What you don’t see from the photo, is that the wooden object is slightly curved, in addition to having the hollowed out part that is visible.

Send your guesses to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail to: editorial@farmanddairy.com. Don’t forget to include your name and hometown/state in those e-mails!

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