Stan Shavlik, who has been farming near Linwood, Neb., for many decades, submitted this homemade but essential piece of farm equipment … essential at least during his early years on the farm. Automation greatly decreased its need.

The name of the item was penciled in on one side of its business end and “1889” was written elsewhere. Compared to a 48-inch ruler, the longer piece is more than 50 inches long. The two pieces are attached with some old leather and a bit of twine, which likely means it was repaired at some time in its history.

“Think of all the sweat equity that went into. …” Oops, can’t finish that quote from Shavlik because it would give away the answer to “What’s This?”

That’s where our readers can chime in. Do you know what this is called and what it was used for? Share your knowledge – or guesses – with other readers by emailing to: Be sure to include your hometown.

Your responses will be shared in the Jan. 4 edition of Midwest Messenger.