Hazard A Guess: Week of June 12, 2008.


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Two more readers agree Item No. 834 looked like a hog ringer. These pliers had curved tips and a channel designed to hold a hog ring and insert it into the hog’s snout. The rings, which were actually C-shaped and then crimped into place, were used to keep the hogs from rooting under the fence.

James Rhodes of Essex Junction, Vt., read Farm and Dairy while vacationing in Ohio (wonder if he took a “Vacation With Us” photo?) and e-mailed us with that answer when he got home.

Bill Larrison of Cortland, Ohio, also says it looks like a hog ringer. He remembers when his father used one, his brother and he would hide and stick their fingers in their ears to soften the pigs’ squeals. “Didn’t last long,” he adds, “and the pigs would pout for awhile and then it was all over.”

Bill also shared this related story from the early 1930s. At that time, you could buy thin, little rubber half-soles for shoes, complete with rubber cement to attach them to your shoes. The front would always come loose, Bill remembers, so his dad would crimp a couple hog rings in the toes. Problem solved and we went to school.

But, he admits, “we pouted just like the hogs.

“Today, we’d probably be right in style!”

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And two other readers also correctly identified Item No. 835, which we told you last week was a “sticking tommy” or miner’s candle holder.

Our thanks to G.A. Henderson of Williamstown, W.Va., and Robert Kwalwasser of Renfrew, Pa.

As we mentioned last week, the round portion held a candle and the pointed end was stuck into a mantle or wall. There’s also a hook in the middle that was used to hook over an object like a chair or desk, rather than just sticking the holder into a wall.

When used by a miner, the point was driven into a timber or rock to provide light.

Story Continues Below Photos

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We received one guess on item No. 836, but it was incorrect, so we’ll show the gizmo here again this week. They may all look different, but they share the same use. What is it?

Write to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail to: editorial@farmanddairy.com. Please include your name, hometown, state for proper identification. You can also view all the recent Hazard columns online, at www.farmanddairy.com. You can comment on the column and even submit photos from the Web site.

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