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Hay Fork


The rusty long metal device that runs diagonally across the above picture from about the lower left corner to the upper right corner is a hay fork.  It was used for moving relatively large quantities of hay usually for loading hay from a wagon into a haymow.  It was sometimes used to remove hay from a haymow to a site for feeding livestock.  The two tongs of the hay fork were connected together by a pivot bold or rivet about a foot from the barbed end.  With the two tongs positioned side-by-side the fork was thrust deep into a pile of loose hay,  A rope fastened to the opposite end ran to a vertical pulley and then to a horse that provided the lifting power.  As the rope was pulled, the thongs of the fork expanded into the bundle of hay allowing it to be lifted without dropping from the hay fork.  A trip on the fork released the hay once it had been maneuvered to the appropriate drop site.


When hay was loaded into a haymow, the clump of hay that was dropped from the hay fork then had to be distributed in the haymow by hand with pitch forks.   When the hay dropped from the hay fork, it caused a rush of air as it fell that released dust and chaff from the hay in a cloud so dense that it was hard to breath.  There was no more dirty, hot, or nasty job than working in a haymow when hay is being laid in.


Also seen in the above picture is a scythe blade standing vertically in a wooden box.


Photo taken about 2005


Provided by Dorothy Bayes


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