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Can you identify this object? This tool is about 22 inches long and nearly 3 inches wide at its widest point.

Send your guess, including your full name and the town you live in, 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, 8 W. King St., P.O. Box 1328, Lancaster, PA 17608-1328. Email is preferred since regular mail access is somewhat limited due to LNP employees working remotely.

Please submit answers by Monday, Aug. 17, and we’ll reveal the correct answer in LNP | LancasterOnline on Aug. 27. Antique Toolbox runs the fourth Thursday of the month.

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Last month’s mystery tool: animal yoke

There were lots of interesting reader guesses as to the purpose of the vintage tool featured in the June 25 edition of LNP.

Jennifer Royer, curator at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, says this vintage farm tool, which measures about 27 inches by 12 inches, is a type of animal yoke.

This yoke, which also was referred to as a cowpoke, would be worn around the neck of the cow, Royer says.

If the cow tried to jump over a fence to escape, the projection at the end would get caught in the fence.

The object consists of three separate pieces that are connected — an oval piece, a stationary shaft and a perpendicular tail piece that is mortised through the shaft.

The shaft and tail pieces retain their original red finish and paint, Royer says. The wear it shows is commensurate with hard use.

This yoke is one of the many artifacts in the antique tool collection at Landis Valley Museum.


“You put this around the goat’s neck to keep him from going through the fence,” Martha Weaver of Terre Hill wrote. And Terry Zerphey of Lancaster was also close, answering that the tool is a training yoke for young oxen, mules and donkeys — to train them to pull field equipment.


Lock closure, a tool for chopping or husking corn, a planting tool, a boot or shoe remover or boot scraper, a tool for shoeing horses, a flail for beating flax, a canning jar lifter, a weeding tool.

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