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Unknown Tool

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    Posted 2 years ago

    (1 item)

    It’s about 3 feet long. It has a grabber type bottom that you twist the shaft to open and close. The handle says Pat. 1803 and possibly May Co on the other side. Maybe some sort of foundry tool?

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    1. slackjack, 2 years ago
      Grasping tool to remove clinkers from a coal stove or coal fired boiler fire box.
    2. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 2 years ago
      Ok, Slackjack, what is a "clinker" ? LOL !
    3. keramikos keramikos, 2 years ago
      Setrocana, Cool looking thing, but are you sure about that patent number? It is rather blurred with time, so perhaps those digits are something else?

      I tried looking up 1803 in the U.S. Patent Office's database (so, OK, I'm a U.S. Patent Office database junkie now) , but that number comes back as a "rice cleaner." I tried other slight variations, like 1808, 1303, 1308, but none of them came back with anything that looked like your doodad (which I'm perfectly comfortable resting with slackjack's description of as a "Grasping tool to remove clinkers from a coal stove or coal fired boiler fire box.")

      blunderbuss2, I didn't know what a clinker was, either, so back to the Internet!:


      Clinkers, also known as slag, consist of the noncombustible elements and minerals found in coal that melt and fuse together as lumpy ashes from coal combustion.


      Here's another similar one:
    4. Setrocana, 2 years ago
      Keramikos. I’ll go look again. Didn’t want to get too carried away trying to look past the rust. A second look at the original HD photo could be 1903. The 3 is pretty solid.
    5. Setrocana, 2 years ago
      And I presumed the number was the year it was patented.
    6. keramikos keramikos, 2 years ago

      I think you're right about the 1803/1903 being the year it was patented. It was foolish of me to think that was the actual patent number, because that would mean your mystery tool was more than a little old:


      The X-Patents (the first 10,280 issued between 1790 and 1836) were destroyed by a fire; fewer than 3,000 of those have been recovered and re-issued with numbers that include an "X".


      I suspect it is 1903 rather than 1803, because I also found this in the July 1904 Hardware Dealers' Magazine Volume 22:


      The United States Wire Mat Co., Decatur, Ill., are makers of the "U. S. Clinker Hook, illustrated. This hook has been designed to obviate the difficulty of removing clinkers from furnaces in the old way with shovel and poker. In using this Hook a turn of the wrist closes the Hook tight around the clinker, and it may be lifted out without difficulty. The device is made of wrought steel throughout, with the exception of the wood handle grip, and will not lose its shape from being heated. The three prongs, comprising its mouth, may be opened wide or shut tightly around the clinker, simply by turning either handle grip. The prongs are sharp and do not allow the clinker to slip until released by the hand again opening them. The Hook is 4 1/4 feet long and weighs four pounds. The device is being extensively advertised in magazines of general circulation.


      There's a picture of it, and it looks a lot like your tool.

      We still don't know the actual patent number, but I suspect you don't care, and I probably shouldn't, either. };-)
    7. keramikos keramikos, 2 years ago
      I forgot to mention: that clinker hook in the hardware magazine sounds like it was a bit longer than yours, and also had a wooden handle, while yours appears to have a metal handle(?).

      Anyway, they seem remarkably similar otherwise.
    8. keramikos keramikos, 2 years ago

      You might be sick of this by now, but apparently I'm not. I found another picture of what seems to be the same model, and it clarified for me the "wood handle" reference. It's not the little 'kidney' shaped thing on one end, but rather a cylindrical sheath about a foot down on the shaft. The embossed information on the kidney shaped piece is also a bit clearer, and it does seem to indicate a 1903 origin:
    9. keramikos keramikos, 2 years ago
      Well, I'm getting closer to identifying the specific patent. I found two very similar items, both called "CLINKER CATCHERS," one patented in 1904, and the other in 1906:

      You'd think a boolean search like this:

      ISD/19030101->19060626 AND CCL/294/11

      Would 'catch' (see what I did there?) the one patented in 1903, but no joy:

      It catches the 1904 and 1906 "clinker catchers," assorted tongs, and other doodads, but not the 1903 "clinker hook."

      Must not be holding my mouth right. :-(

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