Well ... isn't THIS interesting!
Three weeks ago, I finished up one set of mysterious doodads and then, since I still had a little room, introduced the beginning of another. There were three new pictures in all.
And one of them ... a weird-looking, long-armed, pointy, hooky item from Ardith Reinking of Wauseon ... has already created quite a stir. The day after it appeared, Lloyd Jones of Weston wrote with an identification ... and a bit of a warning.
"In this week's Whatchamacallit section," he writes, "you display a photograph of an item that is, I believe, ILLEGAL TO OWN UNLESS IT HAS BEEN PREVIOUSLY REGISTERED WITH THE BUREAU OF ALCOHOL, FIREARMS AND TOBACCO ... U.S. GOVERNMENT.
"Item 1 is, I believe, a TRAPPER'S SET GUN. The hook to the left is attached to a piece of bait. The long, sharp rod is pressed into the ground, perhaps at the entrance to an animal's burrow. Near the center of the item is a chamber for loading a cartridge ... commonly .22 caliber.. A pull on the bait, when the gun is loaded and cocked, fires the cartridge in the direction of the pull. It kills or wounds indiscriminately, which has led, partially, to it being declared illegal."
And guess what. Lloyd isn't the only reader who's made this identification! Only a day or two later, Norbert Norden, who lives near Hamler, wrote:
"I enclose copies of pages from a 1922 trapping catalog that shows item 1 as being a TAYLOR FUR GETTER. You would put some bait on the hook and wait for an animal to come along and pull on it. That pull would fire the Fur Getter, hitting the animal in the head and causing instant death. I don't think they are legal to use now."
I'm NOT in the habit of divulging identifications like this quite this quickly. But something ... Floyd, actually ... tells me it might be a good idea to move past this item as rapidly as possible because of the registration question.
And what, after all, makes me think Floyd and Norbert have made a correct identification on this thing? Well, it seems that it had once belonged to Ardith's father, Lawrence Towne of Fayette, Ohio who was a gun-trader and could have very likely owned such a thing.
And, although we didn't want to divulge this information right away, the words "TAYLOR FUR GETTER, F. C. Taylor Fur Company, St. Louis, MO. - Patented June 2, 1914. Other patents pending." are indeed printed on the body. So there really is very little question.
Do I hear you saying you still can't quite see how this little doodad would work? If so, just check out this catalog page.