Loretta Ross

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Do You Know What This Is?

When I was very small, we used one of these for a couple of years.  Who knows what it is?  (I stole this picture from an Etsy shop listing, but the item has already sold so I’m hoping they don’t care.)




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  1. Angie Smith

    what is it??

  2. Hi, Angie! 🙂 Sorry I haven’t answered you sooner. Maintaining my blog is one of the things I’ve been shamefully procrastinating about lately. :-[
    We always just called it a “cylinder”. It’s what we used to draw water up out of the well before we had an electric pump. There’s a trigger on it that acts the same way the damper in a stovepipe acts. It controls a disk inside the cylinder so that it’s either flat, to block the opening and keep water in, or verticle, to let water run past.

    We’d lower it into the well using a rope and pulley, pull it back up full of water, then hold it over a bucket and trip the trigger. (I say “we” but what I really mean was your grandpa and grandma and the older kids. Somebody (Danny, maybe?) dropped it in once and your grandpa had to get it out with a fishing line and hook. 😉

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