A Mystery Tool - Christmas puzzle.

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Blog entry by YorkshireStewart posted 12-25-2007 02:30 PM 1465 reads 0 times favorited 29 comments Add to Favorites Watch

I displayed some pictures of a tool / implement on just over a year ago to try and find out what it is. It’s had >120 viewings but no answer yet. Although unlikely to have woodworking connections, I thought it possible that a lumberjock might come up with an answer. It belongs to the museum at which I do voluntary work


I don’t have it to hand, but, from memory, it’s around 9” / 230mm long. The hook bit in the middle simply ‘swings’ in the hole in the main casting; it doesn’t slide along. The handle/ lever appears to have had some considerable pressure applied as it seems to be bent.

The ‘flower’ rotates as well as swings on its pivot. The ‘petals’ comprise three pairs of depressions; each pair of a different depth as if to give an increasing measure of leverage when pressed onto something. That component puts me in mind of the adjuster on my biscuit jointer that has three similar sets of depressions for three sizes of biscuit.

Cast under the handle / lever is something like : ” PVL Pt.4767/26” Presumably Provisional Patent. I can’t be 100% over the number as I’ve taken it from the photographs. I failed to track down such a patent number some years ago.



Over to you..

-- Res severa verum gaudium - True pleasure is a serious business.

29 comments so far

View rikkor's profile


11295 posts in 3901 days

#1 posted 12-25-2007 04:35 PM

It almost looks like you could cap a bottle with it.

View mrtrim's profile


1696 posts in 3907 days

#2 posted 12-25-2007 04:48 PM

dont know much about cappin bottles stewart but if you want to talk uncappin i have all the tools this dosent look like one of them !! merry christmas verne

View Douglas Bordner's profile

Douglas Bordner

4024 posts in 4090 days

#3 posted 12-25-2007 07:21 PM

??? The L thingy might fit into the hole in an anvil. I’m only guessing, but maybe it’s something for making metal cables.
Happy Holidays. Stewart (Happy Boxing Day -never sure what day it is there).

-- "Bordnerizing" perfectly good lumber for over a decade.

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 4119 days

#4 posted 12-25-2007 08:12 PM

I have two or three old thick hardware store supply cataolgs. I’ll do some leafing through the pages.

-- Paul, Texas

View Russel's profile


2199 posts in 3966 days

#5 posted 12-25-2007 08:23 PM

My son, who keeps his eyes open for old tools, seems to think it is a type of capping press. The claw would fit around a bolt of some type and the ‘petal’ part would be pulled down to fold a cap over an opening of some sort, kinda like a bottle capper. Regardless of what it is, he thought it was cool.

-- Working at Woodworking

View mot's profile


4911 posts in 4063 days

#6 posted 12-25-2007 09:17 PM

A railroad spike puller!

-- You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. (Plato)

View Dadoo's profile


1789 posts in 4017 days

#7 posted 12-26-2007 12:16 AM

It’s a circumcision tool for horses. In the days of the royals it was deemed proper to have your horse circumcised and his hair powdered and braided in a clockwise manner. They would also paint the horses hoofs too.

*Just a wild guess.

-- Bob Vila would be so proud of you!

View Dan'um Style's profile

Dan'um Style

14173 posts in 4010 days

#8 posted 12-26-2007 12:26 AM

looks like a handle to a coal powered steam locamotive engine

-- keeping myself entertained ... Humor and fun lubricate the brain

View Jeff's profile


1010 posts in 4121 days

#9 posted 12-26-2007 01:46 AM

I’m with Tom. It looks more like a puller than a putter to me. The flower could be a fulcrum with ‘feet’ for stability.

-- Jeff, St. Paul, MN

View miles125's profile


2180 posts in 4032 days

#10 posted 12-26-2007 02:25 AM

The seldom seen stuck shower head remover…..Or an experimental device to put horseshoes on pigs.

-- "The way to make a small fortune in woodworking- start with a large one"

View Betsy's profile


3391 posts in 3923 days

#11 posted 12-26-2007 03:04 AM

I’m wondering if the reason you have not found a “correct” answer may be that there is not one. Could it be one of those “one-of” tools that someone made to accomplish a job at hand and that was the end of it. I know it looks elaborate for a one-of – but considering how elaborate some of our jigs are – it’s not to far fetched.

-- "Our past judges our present." JFK - 1962; American Heritage Magazine

View Andy's profile


1694 posts in 3935 days

#12 posted 12-26-2007 03:09 AM

Its a Whickdicker, it was used to seat the hubs in wagon wheels.

I am positive that I am uncertain about this.

-- If I can do it, so can you.

View scottb's profile


3648 posts in 4354 days

#13 posted 12-26-2007 03:43 AM

It’s definitely a Bung inserter/extractor. Or not.

-- I am always doing what I cannot do yet, in order to learn how to do it. - Van Gogh -- --

View cajunpen's profile


14575 posts in 4093 days

#14 posted 12-26-2007 05:18 AM

I don’t know for sure what it is – but in the hands of a good tactician it would make a man confess to just about anything he ever did. There are times that I could use one of those :-)).

-- Bill - "Suit yourself and let the rest be pleased."

View Paul's profile


660 posts in 4119 days

#15 posted 12-27-2007 03:54 AM

I feel like I’ve seen this beast before. But I’ve looked through four old hardware store supply catalogs ranging from 1923 to the 50s and can’t find anything like it. I’ve also looked through about a dozen tool catalog reprints and no lluck. I thought for a while it might be some kind of pump handle but have moved away from that thought.

Have you posted your pic and “what is it?” anywhere else?

The Mid West Tool Collectors Association and the Early American Industries Association (check the Internet for contact info) both have member journals that may publish a pic and query for you.

-- Paul, Texas

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