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PeteLocal505

What is it?

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So a guy brought this to me wanting to know what it is? So I've brought it here to the vast pool of knowledge. It's old for sure. Civil war maybe a little later according to the owner. Have at it guys. Thanks 

 

Pete 

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Thanks for your input Charles. That was my initial thought. The blade was sharpened. Don't know if that matters but I thought it was a bit of on such a soft piece of iron. Any guess on age?

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Seems short for a digging tool, unless you're talking some kind of oversized dibble. Might have cut down from something larger, though.

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That's what a tree planting spade is, you push it into the ground and then after dropping the tiny saplings roots in the hole you push th spare in a sort distance away and push the dirt tord the first hole to close it. What I see is what to me is a handle minus the wood cross piece, a place on the shaft for your other hand and then a spade shaped blade below that. Was it used to attack the face in tunneling or mining? Whatever it is being almost all wrought or steel it was desighned to be abused. 

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Very true Thomas. So let's say roughly between 1850 and 1870? Somewhere around there? Newer? Older. And I'm with you Charles. It seems like it was designed with a lot of abuse in mind. I looked at other dibbles on google and can't get anything to close to it but it does look like one. 

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I did see that one as well irondragon. Only problem with it is the shaft seems to be round. This one is flat and has a full on spear point with sharpened edges. Which makes me lean towards Charles' idea that it would be for trees. 

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1 hour ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

Was it used to attack the face in tunneling or mining?

I was thinking along these lines as well, but was blanking on the mining term "face" (note to self: go get some more coffee). Probably not for digging through hard rock, though; perhaps clay or the like. 

I don't know a lot about tree planting implements, but this would seem to fall somewhere between a dibble bar and a hoedad.

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12 minutes ago, Charles R. Stevens said:

I did consider the posability it was a stake with a roller on top, but then the question "why?"

Hardcore pastry.

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I'd go with a planting dibble also.  Those were not only for trees:  Since strawberry fields need to be renewed with live plants every couple of years you would need a dibble for that also.  Drive it in to the top of the wide blade section, cock it to the side to make an opening, drop in plant, remove, step to close the hole up.  

Something similar was used in large tulip fields as well as some other bulbs---even some onions are planted as bulbs or starts that way.  Possibly potato cuts also in the early days but later there were some other tools developed for potatoes.  

Tobacco is also planted as plant starts (or at least used to be).  In later days they'd sterilize a seed bed using what is essentially a steam tractor boiler to kill soil pathogens and start the slow growing seeds where they could be babied. Those plant starts would then be planted out in the field.  Note that tobacco was locally grown all over the USA so it wouldn't be only a regional thing in the 1800s.  

 

 

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Well I told the owner that the consensus is that it's a dibble. He didn't like that. But, he also thought it was a American civil war Calvary weapon. I tried to convince him otherwise just after hearing the pieces description, but he was not open to the idea of me being correct. That still may be the case. 

Thank you to all that put fourth their thoughts. I can't remember who has the quote on their profile but I believe it's something along the lines of the old smiths took their secrets to the grave and none of us are better for it. I'm glad we have this community of free knowledge. 

 

Pete

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My NSWAG (Non-Scientific Wild A$$ Guesses) include (tool wise) a reamer for either a cooper or a wheelwright. Or a scraper/cleaning tool for a foundry.

For a cooper - to clean up the bung holes on casks.

Wheelwright - cleaning up the axle holes in wheel hubs.

Foundry - cleaning of large castings with deep recesses. (Think of the wheels on the railroad steam engines, or larger castings for the flywheels on stationary steam engines.

I'm more likely wrong then right on this.

Don

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On 11/21/2017 at 12:19 PM, ThomasPowers said:

Note that "civil war" depends highly on which country you are referring to.

Wow. That is so truthful it hurts. 

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47 minutes ago, TimberBull said:

Wow. That is so truthful it hurts. 

The title of “curmudgeon” is not to be taken lightly here on IFI.  They regularly remind us that we are members of an international community of well-informed people.  One of our friends in another corner of the world may have the answer and shouldn’t be expected to wade through American history...even if he/she has a better grasp of it.

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I had my "lesson" about 35 years ago when I was at a pub in England having a pint and got to talking to a couple of locals who did metal detecting. They were telling me of their great find which was a set of gilt spurs from the Civil War; well coming from NW Arkansas, USA we had scads of civil war stuff around and a couple of major battlefields, Pea Ridge and Prairie Grove and was not so impressed until it HIT me: England => English Civil War 1642-1651---a couple centuries *older* than the ACW.   I've tried to take this to heart that it's not all about us out there in the big world; shoot I even got off work for Benito Juárez's birthday this year!

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