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Serving: IN

Here’s a forgotten tool from days gone by

TAGS: Equipment
Tom J. Bechman antique tool
INGENUITY AT WORK: It took some ingenuity to come up with this easier way to make repairs in the field.
This tool was used as shown about a century ago.

If you study the picture closely, you likely will figure out what this red contraption was used for. We’re looking for the name of the company that made it.

What made this tool unique was that it was designed to fit onto a steel wheel, just as it is shown here, while repairs were made. This item dates to the early 1900s, according to historians at the Hancock County Ag Museum in Britt, Iowa. It was used on Iowa farms before it was donated to the museum.

Machinery broke down in the good ol’ days, probably a lot more often than it does today. And if you were out in the field away from everything, just you and a team of horses, it was a long walk back to the barn where you kept a vise and tools. Trucks hadn’t been invented yet, let alone repair trucks for the field.  

Unfortunately, it’s unknown if a farmer came up with this idea out of necessity, or an early engineer listening to farmers complain about walking or driving the team back to the barn to make the repair. But it was an early display of ingenuity. By clamping the device onto the steel wheel, in a stationary position, the wheel acted as a vise, allowing the farmer to make the repair —  assuming he had extra sections, rivets, and a hammer and chisel with him.

Do you know the name of the company that made this device? Send your answer to or P.O. Box 247, Franklin, IN 46131. We’ll pick someone at random from all the correct answers and reward them with a gift card. The answer will be revealed in an upcoming article.

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