Before the use of mechanized agricultural methods became commonplace,
most hay was cut by hand using a scythe. It was dried and eventually
stacked in a hayloft or other place of storage. Over time, the
dried hay would naturally compress, forcing out the air, which
aided in preservation. This did not, however, make it easy to
remove an amount of hay when needed. A hay knife, such as the
one shown above, was used to make vertical cuts in the stack
so that a particular amount could be extracted.
The double-handled hay knife is approximately 3' long, with
a 2' long blade. The writing on the tool specifies it is an
original Hiram Holt hay knife by Worth Wayne Co., made in Oakland,
Maine. Interestingly, this area began as a small farming community
and eventually became known for its edge-tool factories, which
produced cutting tools for farmers and loggers.