Hello from Hazard!
Just like the new movie, responses to Item No. 684 zoomed in fast and furious.
Many readers identified the tool as a “leading rope,” “plumber’s rope” or “asbestos rope.”
It was used like a collar to wrap around cast iron pipe with the clamp to hold it together when pouring lead into the hub, or bell, on a plumbing pipe (particularly when pouring in a horizontal position).
The long cord, made of asbestos, was wrapped around the pipes where the joint was to be made. The clamp held it in place and there was an opening where the molten lead could be poured in to fill the joint.
The hub, writes Bruce Dozer of McConnelsville, Ohio, was first filled and packed with oakum (an oily rope) and then poured with lead.
The asbestos, which didn’t burn, held the lead in place until it cooled.
“For many years in this area, all plumbing placed under concrete had to be cast iron to meet code,” Dozer added.
We also heard from Dolores Chalmers of Broadview Heights, Ohio; Robert Smith of Southington, Ohio; Manson Smith of Vienna, Ohio; Robert J. Cooper, Glouster, Ohio; Edwin H. Rohrer, Poland, Ohio; Dave Johnson, Meadville, Pa.; William McKown;
Art Bilek of Norton, Ohio; David Taylor, Mineral Wells, W.Va.; Bob Hrabak, Twinsburg, Ohio; Ralph Meivogel, Madison, Ohio; Ed Chamberlain, Greenville, Pa.; George Korinko, South Park, Pa.; Sherman Mattocks and Jim Bogner.
Many thanks to everyone who responded so quickly.
This week’s item comes from Edward Wanchock of Sewickley, Pa. The tool’s wooden handle measures 20 inches.
Can anyone hazard a guess as to its use?
Send your answers to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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