Here’s the short answer: we still don’t know. The answer we received most often from you was that this is part of the drive mechanism for a grain binder, but it was far from unanimous. Other readers believe it might be part of a windmill head, or even part of a blacksmith’s forge.
Reader Joan McDowell of Deerwood last month wanted to know if our readers could help identify this thing, so we put up two collector’s-item Manitoba Co-operator caps as the reward for the best answer. (Sorry we’re a week late getting back to you, Joan.) As she told us in the Oct. 2 Co-operator, this heavy (probably cast-iron) object was found in some dense bush at North Makwa, Sask. (between Cold Lake, Alta., and Meadow Lake, Sask.), on the site where her father lived and blacksmithed in the 1930s and early 1940s.
The caps for the best response go to Delbert Snider of Roseisle, who wrote that the object is the “reel arm and gear drive for a Frost and Wood grain binder, pulled by horses. Probably a six-or seven-foot binder. They were used in the early 1900s, until about 1933.” Our thanks to everyone who helped out with a response.