Hello and continued Happy New Year wishes from Hazard!
First of all, I hope all of our readers who have been hit by the cold and snow are safe and sound. We know many of you have to go out to take care of livestock, or have other jobs that require you to be outside. Please be smart, and don’t take unnecessary risks. And be good neighbors and check on others.
We talked to some farmers about the challenging of taking care of livestock in the cold, and you can see that video on our website (search for the keyword “frigid weather”) or Facebook page.
OK, back to Hazard-ous business. We left off with Item No. 1096. As we previously mentioned, Hank Shores, of Wheeling, W.Va., consulted a 1895 catalog from the Chas. A. Strelinger Co. of Detroit, Michigan, book of tools, machinery and supplies, and according to the catalog, Item No. 1096 is a pair of bolt tongs.
The tool must look similar to other items, as other readers hazard-ed other guesses, and this week we received a response from Jeff Fisher, of Palmer, Alaska, who said it also looks like a spark plug wire puller, which lets you remove the rubber boot on a spark plug without damaging the wire. And George Patterson, of New Castle, Pa., wrote that it also looks like a milk bottle grabber for removing bottles form a steam bath, dating back to the ’20s and ’30s, when bottles were reused.
We also received another note on Item No. 1095, which had previously been identified as a thread repair file. James Morrison Sr., of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, shared his recollection of using the tool to fix the rear coaster brakes on their bicycles, which were either New Departure or Morrow models. “Lots of fun to keep those old bikes back on the road.”
For our newest, old item, Item No. 1097, we share a mystery item brought to us by Sheryl Hawthorne, of Lisbon, Ohio, who just retired from Farm and Dairy Dec. 31. It’s a wooden item measuring 7 inches in diameter and 6 inches high. There are no marks on it; the top turns, and as you can see from one of our photos, there is a hole in the bottom of the top. Does anyone know how this was used?
Email us at email@example.com; or respond by mail to: Hazard a Guess, c/o Farm and Dairy, P.O. Box 38, Salem, OH 44460.
If you’ve got a tool or household item you think would stump our readers, email or mail your photos, along with a complete description of the tool’s use and dimensions, including markings, to the email or snail mail addresses listed above.