Help us determine what kind of tape was used on Item No. 1241

Item No. 1241
Item No. 1241

Hello from Hazard!

Blake Malkamaki, of Conneautville, Pennsylvania, thinks Item No. 1240 is a thumb button to an interior door latch. Bill Warren of Orwell, Ohio, and David B., of Jamestown, Pennsylvania, agree it is a trigger for an old fashioned door latch.

Calvin Breyley, of Streetsboro, Ohio, adds: “Item No. 1240 is part of a latch unit. There are several other parts involved. I grew up in a farm house that had those kinds of latches on every internal door. This was the same house that my grandmother was born and raised. The “spoon” end was on the outside of the door. The hardware that this went through, had a curved piece a little below the “spoon” so you could open the door with your thumb pinching down. To get out of a closed room, you just pulled up on the other end. Missing are the metal parts that was screwed to both sides of the door, the bar that Item No. 1240 engaged when lifted up to unhook it from the hook-type metal piece that was screwed into the door jam. When the bar was lifted from the hook, the door would open. My grandmother was born in the 1880s and I was born in the 1940s.”

Eric Sporysz, of Rockland, Pennsylvania, adds it is part of a gate latch, and the piece shown is called a thumb latch. Bob Kramer, of Springboro, Ohio, and Ed Warren, of Lost Creek, West Virginia, agree with Eric.

Ron Denbow, of Medina, Ohio, said the item looks similar to a tool for lifting out hot cook lids from the top of an old pot belly wood/coal stove.

Wendell Cole adds this item appears to be part of a door lock. The wide part is for your thumb to push and release the latch from the stationary part of the lock.

Pamela Sherer, of Hudson, Ohio, found the item in western Lake Erie.

Item No. 1240
Item No. 1240

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Brent Hill submitted Item No. 1241. He writes that it appears to be a piece of wood in the shape of a toy gun, but it is actually a tobacco peg used for hand planting. This would have been the main tool for planting before the invention of the mechanical planter, and then after, for those who could not afford a planter.

Brent was given this 40-plus years ago, and it was old then. He would like to know what kind of tape they used to hold the thumb piece together. He said it must have been good stuff.

Do you know what kind of tape was used? Let us know by emailing us at; or by mail to: Hazard a Guess, c/o Farm and Dairy, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.


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