Antique Toolbox new tool for November

Can you guess what this vintage tool, part of the collection at the Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum, was used for?

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

Landis Valley Curator Jennifer Royer says its dimensions are 9 3/4 inches by 4 7/8 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, Dec. 13. We’ll reveal the correct answer in LNP the week of Dec. 20.

Note: Email is preferred because regular mail access is limited due to the LNP staff working remotely.

Antiques toolbox October tool


A few of our readers knew the identity of our mystery tool for October, an artifact from the collection of Landis Valley Village & Farm Museum.

Royer says the tool is a sock-knitting machine that was made by the Gearhart Knitting Machine Co. of Clearfield. On this metal machine, she says, loops of yarn passed between needles to create the socks.

But the Gearhart Knitting Machine did not make only socks, Royer notes.

There were at least 43 items that could be knitted using this machine, including sweaters, mittens, caps and scarves, Royer says.

“I’d love to see that tool in working order,” says Wendy Ellis, one of our readers who came up with the correct answer. “They are very much in demand among knitters.”

Ellis owns Lancaster Yarn Shop in Kitchen Kettle Village, Intercourse.

Joseph E. Gearhart secured at least eight U.S. patents for a knitting machine, a railroad car pusher, a vacuum cleaner and a match safe, Royer says.

The first patent for his Circular-Knitting Machine was issued on April 1, 1890, Royer says.


• Cornwall: Doug Brinkley.

• Gordonville: Valerie Schindewolf.

• Lancaster: Leonard Williams, Wendy Ellis.

• Little Britain: Alice Beard.

•  Mountville: George Overmeyer.

• Quarryville: Bonnie Rohrer.

• Strasburg: Ray Simmons.

• Washington Boro: Paul Wittensoldner.

• West Lampeter Township: Jim Linville.

BEST GUESSES: Twisting machine for twine, wire, yarn or rope; sausage stuffer; apple peeler/corer; a washer for root crops.

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