Do you know what this mysterious tool from the collection of the Landis Valley Museum and Farm was used for?

Landis Valley curator Jennifer Roer says the size of the artifact is 5 by 6 1/4 inches.

Send your guess to Ellen Wright at features@lnpnews.comwith “Antique Toolbox” in the subject line, or a letter to Mary Ellen Wright / Antique Toolbox, LNP Media Group, PO Box 1328, Lancaster, PA 17608-1328.

ImportantA: Please enter your full name and the city in which you live in your guess. Guessing must be done by Monday, May 16th. We will show the correct answer in LNP and LancasterOnline on Friday, May 27th.

note: Email is preferred because normal access to mail is limited due to the fact that LNP employees work remotely.


Several of our readers knew that last month’s mysterious tool from the Landis Valley Village and Farm Museum collection is a type of woodworking aircraft.

To be precise, it is a toothed plane made of beech wood.

Royer says that the toothed plane is the plane of a block with a very large angle with a blade that has a toothed edge.

It has a 1 7/8-inch rounded heel and a flat part suspended at 1 inch.

With their “jagged” edges, these planes can be used to smooth and finish a wooden surface in any direction – regardless of grain size – often scratching the wood rather than picking up full shavings.

The man who created this gear plane was well known in Lancaster.

It was made by Samuel Auxerre (1834-1909) and has the stamp “Samuel Auxerre / Lancaster, Pennsylvania”, – says Roer.

She notes that Auxerre was a student of Emanuel Weidler Carpenter, as was William Kiefer, a relative of Carpenter.

Eventually, Kiefer and Auxerre formed a partnership. Auxerre was still associated with Kiefer in 1869, as noted in the Lancaster County Handbook, Roer notes.

In 1877, Auxerre became a partner of Samuel Hansel Zam and began a new career as a bookseller, Roer says.

Auxerre died in January 1909 and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Lancaster, Roer adds.

Recalling his early career as an aircraft maker, Auxerre’s obituary in the Lancaster News-Journal called him “one of Lancaster’s most famous residents” and noted that his bookseller was located on South Queen Street.

Auxerre “was a great lover of books, but loved nature more,” the obituary said. “Often he made trips to the county, especially to Colebrook Hills, for ornithological specimens.”


• Bainbridge: Tom Ballmer. • Elizabethtown: Don Stark.

• Henderson, Nevada:

Maria Panasevich.

• Lancaster: James Zinc, Brian Bedard.

• Township Lancaster: Tom Wall.

• Mountville: Gary Glick.

• Nazareth: Phil Hawke.

• Reinholds: June Grof.

• Willow Street: Doris Morrison.

Best assumptions: Matchbox, salt box, bookmark, door stop, oil paddle.

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