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Guess What? January 2002

Bob Cahn Guess What Article for January 2002
By Bob Cahn, “The Primitive Man”

This month’s “Guess What” looks as if it came out of a box of Cracker Jacks. Diminutive, delicate – it denotes a miniaturization of Victorian form and design, with style and purpose that makes for a cerebral challenge of delightful proportions.

Invented by Charles Gibbs of Boston, May 10, 1870, it’s made of cast pot metal with eight strands of thin wavy steel piano wire and measures a humongous 33/4” W X 2 3/4” H.

It has a lot of potential, some of which follows:

  1. Dog groomers tooth scaler and tongue cleaner
  2. Fruit salad grape slicer
  3. Grain painting tool
  4. Shelled walnut pulverizer
  5. Garlic lovers’ pocket mincer
  6. Baby carrots peeler
  7. Pre-gluing wood joint roughener
  8. Bon bel cheese cutter
  9. Quail hard-boiled egg slicer
  10. Callous and bunion scraper

We’re saving number 11 for next month with the actual answer*

* Many thanx to Randy and Phyllis Topkins, KOOKS member dealer/collectors from Temperance, MI., for making this available.

Answer to December 2001 Issue ‘Guess What’..?

If there was a metal-eating termite cousin of the corn borer, this looks like the ravaging effects he would have caused. Regardless, this cast iron farmers hand tool is a rare delineation of the myriad variations – both mechanical and manual – of corn shellers, used to strip the dried kernels from the cob, to be used as seed for next springs planting. The hole variations accommodated the different size ears indigenous to certain varieties of Mother Natures frisky freaks of maturation and crop development.*

*An appreciative thanx to “KOOKS” member/collectors Bill and Rosemary Ulmer, Whitmore Lake, MI

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