Thursday, February 19, 2009

Identifying the Unusual

Members of the GCHS met at Markdale, in the heart of Grey County, to enjoy a generous assortment of delicious dishes and desserts during their Annual February Pot-Luck Luncheon.

Following the meal, Norman Playter of Norjack Antiques mystified the members with some of his very unusual early objects and tools, while the audience was challenged to guess what they were? The members then turned the tables on him and shared a number of their intriguing items. It made for a very relaxing afternoon, full of fun and fellowship.

Some of the items we puzzled over were:

  • a log ruler
  • a 1914 automobile wheel lock
  • a late 1800’s copper hat shaper and form
  • a book safe for valuables
  • an 1800’s massive iron turnip puller
  • a wire visor hat holder called a “Savurhat”, which allowed a man to alight from his car leaving his hat in the holder
  • an elbow strap-on device for preventing a child from thumb sucking, made by “Killkare” of Owen Sound
  • a galvanized wire basket-weaner to strap onto the head of a calf or yearling to break it from nursing
  • a railway message hoop
  • a pair of heavy iron tongs used to grab animals from caves or nests made by Jackson’s in Allenford
  • a rug stretcher and tacker made about 1890
  • an iron pike that was used in lumbering
  • an old wooden peg used in framing a barn
  • an unusual wheat flail with a rotating top
  • a heavy iron molten lead pouring device used in an early tanner
  • an unusual walking stick with a head made from a deer antler
  • a pair of oxen shoes with the crooked nails and quite unlike horse’s shoes as they were of two sections and much smaller
  • a boxing instrument for packing “oakum” to seal wooden gunnels on sailing ships
  • a float and file for a horse
  • a poison bottle
  • a glass darning ball designed to store needles and thimbles inside
  • a Victorian scissor-like device designed to remove the eyes from pineapples
  • a waterproof match container used on life-boats
  • a brass rag holder designed to clean the chimney’s of oil lamps
  • and one or two devices that no one quite knew what they’d been made for?

  • Now you know what you missed! How many might you have identified? The group did pretty well, but they learned much more than they knew before!

    On March 18th, at the Grey Roots Theatre, Janet Iles, Research Chairperson of the GCHS, will give an illustrated talk on, “What’s in a Name?” Janet will elucidate the many colorful names of villages and towns throughout Grey County and how they got their names or from whom they got their names, and by so doing, she will share the history and heritage of our area as it is reflected in its place names. A short meeting followed by the talk begins at 1:30 p.m. The general public is invited to attend free of charge.

    written by Paula Niall, communications chair
    photos by Janet Iles


  1. Great write up Paula!
    Thanks for the photos too Janet.
    That was a fun meeting and the food was superb!
    See you a Grey Roots!

  2. Great program! Thanks for the report Paula and the wonderful photos Janet . The food was good too!
    See you at Grey Roots!