Hazard A Guess: Week of May 15, 2003

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Hello from Hazard.

We received three quick e-mailed responses to Item No. 680 – and since they’re all on the same track, we’d have to say we have an answer for reader Gordon Marsh of Waterford, Pa., who didn’t know exactly how it was used.

Actually, the readers who replied each had a different use, but agreed that Item No. 680 is an early oil lamp. It had a thick rope-like wick in the spout and provided long-lasting light for a variety of uses.

John Bigley of New Castle, Pa., said his grandfather used one for night fishing (for light and to help chase away the mosquitoes). Don Ringer of Cambridge, Ohio, said the lamp was also used by early coal miners before carbide lamps were available. Ringer adds that the “coal oil” used produced a dim, smoky light.

Tom Hooper of Richfield, Ohio, gave the lamp the name “red dog” and says it was used to light up oil wells at night.

(This was one of those weeks when I wish my good friend Don Hollinger of Lisbon, Ohio, was still alive. It’s the type of item he would have identified in a jiffy.)

Turning to this week’s new item, Item No. 681, we have to admit it’s another mystery. It’s got four inner compartments and the partitions don’t move. But the top and bottom both slide, and there are holes on all sides. It measures about 20 inches long, 5 1/2 inches deep and 5 1/2 inches wide.

Does anyone know how it was used?

Send your answers to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail: editorial@farmanddairy.com.

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