Hazard A Guess: Week of Dec. 11, 2008


Hello from Hazard!

Gosh, the ruckus continues over Item No. 847!

The Hazard soap opera of trying to figure out how it was used continues. We’ve heard: blacksmith’s tool, wheel weight tool (to balance tires), fence stretcher/tightener, barn cleaner chain tightener, nail puller, upholstery tack remover.

Wayne Cooper of Fombell, Pa., was one of the first to respond that it was a wheel weight tool, and sent another recent note to say, “I still think I’m right about Item No. 847.” He included a photo of a modern, similar-looking tool being used in that manner.

And Ed Wanchock of Sewickley, Pa., who started this whole thing when he sent in the photo, writes, “WOW! I didn’t think this little item would cause such a controversy.”

But, he adds, that he had an antique tool collector visit him Nov. 15 to look over some of this items. “I showed him the tool [Item No. 847] and without any input from me, he quickly, without hesitation, said, ‘An upholsterer’s tool.'”

Since we can’t get the tool and all 33,000 readers in the same room to confer, can we all just agree to disagree or stay in Hazard-oblivion on this tool?

* * *

Four more readers wrote in to say they also knew Item No. 849 was a calf weaning device.
Many thanks to: Larry Walker, Ravenna, Ohio; Anthony Mysliwiec, Proctor, W.Va.; Robert Matz, Cozad, Neb., and Ammon Miller, Fredericktown, Ohio.
* * *
The mailbag and e-mail inbox were silent on Item No. 850. We’ll show it here one more week, and then we’ll have to move on.

It’s about 15 tall with the handle up and 9 inches across. It’s made of nickel-plated iron and has the word “Yankee “printed on the side with a patent pending mark. Both sides are decorated with filigree.

On the right side of the item, there is a clamp where it attaches to the counter. The handle swings clockwise and an inside section on the left slides to the front. When you turn the handle counter-clockwise, the section slides back into place and the rod you see in the picture comes down into a rubber-lined tunnel that also clamps.

At the same time, a couple of forks sticking out to the left of the Yankee mark fold one over the other in a pincher type motion.

Anyone? Write to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail to: editorial@farmanddairy.com. Be sure to include your name, hometown and state.
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.

“Hazard a Guess” will take a holiday hiatus in the issues of Dec. 25 and Jan. 1. Of course, you can still Hazard a Guess on Item No. 851, but we won’t publish any answers until the Jan. 8 issue.

In the meantime, use some of your Christmas spirit to root around in your closets, garages, sheds and attics for your own Hazard-ous items to submit in the new year.
Until then, have a Wonderful New Year!


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  1. Item 850 looks like a saw set for setting the pitch of the teeth on the blade after sharpening a hand saw. My father had a device that looked similar and that is what it was used for. Also the description of the device seems to describe what it might be used for.


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