Things No Longer In Use

Unless you are over sixty years  old, it is unlikely you have ever used any of the items below. They were all useful during the early years but have since become relics of the past.­

A Skirt Marker - It was used by dressmakers during the early 1900s. At that time, all women wore dress down to their ankles. The skirt marker was a measuring device that had a piece of chalk attached to it. It rested on the floor and aided the dressmaker in  making the right hem or cut;

A Panama Hat - A flat, oval shaped straw hat used during the 1920s. It was considered the style of the day and both men and women wore them.

Ladies' Hair Curling Tongs - A curler was heated on the stove or in a lamp and when applied to a head of hair it produced im curl. Sometimes the curler was overheated and instead of a curl you ended up with a singe.

Men's Spats - A felt covering attached to the front of men’s shoes. It was supposed to give the men a more dressy appearance.

A Buggy Spoke Shaver - It was used when repairs had to be made to a buggy wheel. When applied to the end of a spoke it shaved the wood so it could be properly fitted to a wheel.

Apple Peeler - A device used for peeling apples. An apple was placed on the peeler arm and by turning a handle. a neatly peeled apple appeared.

A Rope Maker - A handy device that was commonly used in the early years. Strands of binder twine were attached to three revolving hooks, by turning a handle you made yourself a strong rope.

A Large Hand Turned Coffee Mill - Every early general store had one. It was used to grind coffee beans. The ground coffee always appeared to be fresher and had a strong aroma.

A Barrel Butter Churn - A device used in making large amounts of butter. Cream and other ingredients were placed in the barrel and sealed. By using a foot pedal you rotated the barrel until the butter was made. You then removed the cover and scooped the butter into a pan.

A Wash Bowl Set - Made of heavy porcelain, it consisted of a basin, a large pitcher, a soap dish, a bed pan and a shaving mug. Wash bowl sets were used in the days before running water. They were common in most homes as well as in all rooms of a hotel. Many wash bowl sets are now being reproduced.

A Wooden Ice Box - Most homes that didn't have electricity had an ice box. A quantity of ice was placed on a top shelf and it kept the food placed on -a lower shelf cool. The melted ice was drawn away by a rubber hose.

A Straight Razor - A sharp blade used for shaving. It turned out to be a dangerous device when improperly used. All barbers used straight razors when giving shaves. A barber was only considered to be an expert if he could shave the cream from a lathered balloon without busting it.

A Foot Warmer - It was used during the horse and buggy days. It was a small heating device that burned small bricks of coal.. It rested on the floor of a sleigh box or cutter and helped keep the passenger's feet warm.

A Traverse Wheel : A device used by blacksmiths. It was a round brass gauge that was used to determine :the amount of iron needed to go around the wheel rim.

A Butter Mould - This device moulded butter so it would fit in a round butter dish. Usually it had a design such as a sheaf of grain or a pineapple. This gave the dish of butter a decorated effect.

A Cheese Cutter - Used in early general stores when cheese was made in round rolls. Pie shaped slices of cheese -were cut from the roll by this cutter.

A Charcoal Iron - Made of cast iron, it had a handle, a smoke stick or chimney, and a place to put a small brick of coal. The burning coal sup ­plied the heat required by the iron. There was always a steady stream of smoke leav­ing the smoke stack when the iron was being used.

A Coyote Gun A small brass gun that had a bait hook attached to its trigger. The hook was baited with meat and the gun was anchored to the ground. It held a single bullet in the barrel and was cocked by a hand spring. Later when a. coyote came  along and tugged on the baited meat, he set off the trigger and was rewarded with a bullet to his head. This gun killed more pet dogs than coyotes and was soon banned. I read of one farmer who used one of these coyote guns. The story mentions that his one and only prize sow discovered this bait gun and tugged on the baited hook.  The farmer not only lost his sow but - he ended up having to feed her nine piglets by bottle until they were able to fare for themselves. You can be sure he soon got rid of this useless device.