Antique Toolbox July 22

Do you know what this mystery tool, from the Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum collection, was used for?

Museum curator Jennifer Royer says its dimensions are: height, 46 1/2 inches; width, 18 1/2 inches; and depth, 20 1/2 inches.

Send your guess to Mary Ellen Wright at, 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.

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

Guesses are due by Monday, Aug. 16. We’ll reveal the correct answer in LNP on Aug. 26, Note: Email is preferred, because regular mail access is limited due to LNP employees working remotely.

HG Antique toolbox old tool U22


The wooden box that was Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum’s mystery tool for June stumped our readers.

Jennifer Royer, museum curator at Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum, says it is a holder for red chalk used with a chalk line reel.

This chalk holder was made circa 1830-1870, Royer says. Much of the holder is stained red from pigmented marking chalk, and a deposit of hardened red chalk remains inside, she adds.

The box also has scars along the top edges from where the string line was drawn through the chalk.

Chalk line reels have been used for centuries, in such professions as carpentry, to mark a chalk line across a long surface — such as a wooden board —for measuring and cutting.

We had lots of creative guesses from our readers, but no correct ones.

BEST GUESSES: A mold to make bricks, butter mold, a grain-measuring scoop, salt box, match holder, mortar and pestle, tap mallet.

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