Hello from Hazard!
Some housekeeping to take care of right off the bat: The mailbag brings confirmation that Item No. 658 is indeed used to dig post holes.
Paul Greenlee of Bridgeport, Ohio, writes that he always heard it called a “post set.” The post set was used to make a hole in the ground, and then a post maul was used to finish the job. James Arman of Martins Ferry, Ohio, adds that the name of the manufacturer was John Neff (the engraving on the item didn’t include the first name). Frank Bartusek of St. Clairsville, Ohio, was so intrigued, he went to the Bellaire Library and dug up more research (pun intended!). John W. Neff also made tracks for barn doors and other farm-related items around 1860. We also heard from Jim Vannest of St. Clairsville, Ohio; Tom Price, Salem, Ohio; and Francis Hart, Belmont, Ohio.
Our thanks to all the readers who took the time to respond (and research!).
We heard from two readers who promptly identified Item No. 659 as a rim jack, used to change tires on old cars with demountable split rims. Frank Witkowski of Hookstown, Pa., has several types and has used them to change tires on his 1926 Star and 1929 Durant automobiles. He also describes the process:
“First, the rim and tire were removed from the wooden spoke wheel. The rim jack was attached to the rim in three places and the crank turned to pull the rim into the center until it caused the split to fold over itself.
“The tire was removed, repaired and placed back into position. The crank was then turned in the opposite direction until the rim closed back. The tire was inflated and the rim remounted and you were off.”
thanks to both gentlemen for writing in.
This week’s item comes from Gail Bartchy of Salem, Ohio. If you can’t tell from the photograph, the rounded well is actually only a half-circle.
Do you know what it is? We’d like to hear from you. Send your responses to: Hazard a Guess, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460; or via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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