Saturday, July 25, 2009

Mystery Artifact: Corn Husker

Sandy D. correctly guessed that last week's Mystery Artifact is a corn husker! Yay!

You can see it here in the 1902 Sears Catalog. It's the sixth glove down, just one of the many models of corn husking gloves offered.

They're sold singly, in pairs, and in lots. So it's reasonable to deduce that people wore these on one or both hands. Holding the dried corncob in one hand, they gripped it with their other hand, and rasped off the hard dry kernels.

There's also a big box-style crank corn husker at the Museum which did the job in a fraction of the time. Either the glove was used by poorer farmers who couldn't afford the box husker, or the gloves were used in conjunction with it, to clean off any cobs the machine did not fully strip. The metal ridge in the palm side of our glove forced off the kernels.

This week's Mystery Artifact appears in a photo. What, pray, is this man doing?

At one time it was done all over town, and was an important job. But what is it? Do you recognize this action?

Take your best guess and good luck!

Answer, and a New Mystery Artifact, next Friday night!

1 comment :

jml said...

Silage tamper?

My mother guessed this when I showed her the site. I'm betting on her, because when I showed her the glove, she said, "Oh, that's a corn husker. My grandmother had a couple on the farm."