For every newsletter issue, we send an eager team to scour
the Lee Valley tool collection so that we can provide readers
with a somewhat unusual and perhaps enjoyable view and description
of an object from the past. Generally, these items are related
to a particular hand trade (usually carpentry) or are a variation
of a commonplace tool that is still found in use today.
This time, it seems we have failed. It was only after this
tool was gathered, brought back and photographed in our studio
that we noticed the marking on the tool (which seemed to be accentuated in the photographs) that tells the whole
story. It seems that in collecting it, we paid attention only
to the mechanism and the protruding nails.
This mechanism looked so bizarre, with the hooks and the eccentric
lever with the obvious adjustment points, it was thought to
be a clamp of sorts. It was also a mystery as to how the end
on the arm was positioned with the workdid one drive it in
or hook it and if so, to what? The original intent of the
tool was clear after we discovered the writing, which states
"King Carpet Stretcher".