Tools Sent in for Identification and Unknown Tools
(Photo 2) Possibly a furniture setup tool. From Jonathan Fisher's tools, photo sent in by Joshua A. Klein. (See this blog entry for more information on Jonathan Fisher)
Listed under Maritime IV in the Archaeology of Tools . Forge welded malleable iron and steel, 29 1/4" long, 6" long cutting edge on the spear point, unsigned. This harpoon point was found in a Camden, Maine area antique shop in 1962. The maritime curator at the New Bedford Whaling Museum said, "The one thing outstanding thing about that harpoon is the workmanship. It is quite good workmanship. The steel, however, is completely wrong for an actual whaling harpoon which was made entirely of malleable iron. Shanks were long and (more or less) thin and made to bend, even twist if necessary. Harpoons were made to be used once. If a harpoon was slightly damaged at its first use, it could be employed as a 'second iron,' that is, a backup harpoon in case the first 'live iron' pulled loose. It is an interesting piece of metal work but it is not an actual whaling harpoon."
This unusual tool a visitor brought into the museum has a "catch" that pushing the release unhinges.
Information wanted on a toolmaker and his tools:
The museum would like to know if anyone has a tool made by William Mellinger (1751-1827). He was a blacksmith and edge toolmaker living in Lancaster county, PA. Please let us know if you have or know of any tools marked with Mellinger or Millinger that may have originated in this area.