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Can you guess the identity of this month's mystery tool? 


Can you identify this object from the collection of the Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum in Lancaster?

Jennifer Royer, curator at the Landis Valley museum, says the tool is 5 1/2 inches wide and 4 1/2 inches tall.

Send your guess to Mary Ellen Wright at features@lnpnews.com, with “Antique Toolbox” in the subject line, or mail to Mary Ellen Wright/Antique Toolbox, LNP Media Group, P.O. Box 1328, Lancaster, PA 17608-1328.

IMPORTANT: Please include your full name and the town you live in with your guess.

Email is preferred since regular mail access is limited because LNP employees are working remotely.

Guesses are due by Monday, Jan. 18. We’ll reveal the correct answer in LNP on Jan. 28.

HG Last months tool D24

Lots of LNP|LancasterOnline readers knew this tool is a spiral auger, used to drill holes in wood, beams for barns, soil and more. It's in the collection of the Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum.


Last month’s tool: A spiral auger

Last month’s “mystery tool” doesn’t seem to be much of a mystery. The picture of the tool in the Nov. 26 edition of LNP — a tool that’s part of the collection of the Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum in Manheim Township — generated dozens of guesses. And almost all of them were correct.

Royer says the tool is a T-shaped spiral auger, circa 1860-1880.

It is a hand-wrought example of an auger, with a clear maker’s mark: “C. Kimble,” Royer says.

The shaft has old reforging marks at the mid-point, suggesting the tool may have been either extended or repaired, Royer says.

This style of hand-held spiral auger is often known as a wood auger or barn beam auger, used for boring into wood. It’s been used over the centuries for making holes for wooden beams to be connected by pegs.

The majority of our responding readers knew the tool is some kind of auger or hand-operated boring drill for wood, though some saw it as an auger for drilling into soil, ice or trees (for maple syrup).

Antique augers come in various shapes and sizes. So, in the spirit of the holidays, we’re listing all the readers who guessed that this tool is an auger, boring tool or hand-operated drill.


• Akron: Brenda Leinbach, Jane DiCola, Thomas Brown.

• Bowmansville: Gloria and Larry Craley.

• Columbia: Donna and Jim Foss, Sam Weigard.

• Conestoga: J. Larry Hess.

• Denver: Mark Herr, Eugene Martin.

• Dundalk, Maryland: George Rineer.

• East Hempfield Township: Jack Esbenshade.

• East Petersburg: Larry J. Harnly.

• Elizabethtown: Joseph Crawford, James Hughes, Don Stark.

• Ephrata: Vincent Strain; Marvin R. Sauder, Tony Hachkowski.

• Fivepointville: Carol Burkholder.

• Glen Arm, Maryland: Ken McLean.

• Gordonville: Allen Styer, Eugene Kieffer.

• Lancaster: Kenton Glick, William M. Sloyer, William C. Landis, Marie Veri, Renée Schuler, Lewis Bechtold, Warren Keen, David Shaub, William Hillegas, Bob Frankhouser Sr., Steve Custer, Marge Bardeen.

• Landisville: Rollin Ebersole, Dave Bleil.

• Lebanon: Dr. Stacey M. Fink, Bruce Yurejefcic, Jim Everett.

• Leola: Larry Stephenson.

• Lititz: Terry Hodecker, Jerry McDonald.

• Manheim: Beverly Snavely, Robert and Emily Ditzler.

• Manheim Township: Robert L. Hostetter.

• Marietta: Tom Tripple.

• Massapequa Park, New York: George L. Leifer.

• Maytown: Don Hallacher.

• Middletown: Jeffrey Kinley.

• Millersville: Gerald Buchko, Wayne Herr, Susan Glass.

• Mount Joy: Fred Shoop, James Murphy, James Campbell, Jim Wagner.

• Mountville: Gary Glick.

• Narvon: Debra Myers, Terry E Williams, John March.

• Nazareth: Pat Houck.

• New Canaan, Connecticut: Tom Nissley.

• New Holland: Susen Leary, Hervey Painter, Jack Esbenshade, Bruce Munshower, Fred Naval.

• Parkesburg: Gerry Treadway.

• Quarryville: Richard Brenneman, Diane Hastings.

• Richmond, Virginia: Linda Retallack.

• Ronks: Benuel Esh.

• Stevens: Matt Grant.

• Strasburg: Eugene Rohrer, Ray Simmons, Elizabeth Gunnion, Clair Denlinger.

• Terre Hill: Martha Weaver.

• Washington Boro: Paul Wittensoldner.

• West Cocalico Township: Dave Hibshman.

• West Lampeter Township: Larry Ewer, Ken Barton.

• Wrightsville: Jerry Hershey.

• No town listed: Robin Oswald, William Townsend, Christopher Oberle Sr.

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