Lee Valley Tools Gardening Newsletter
Vol. 4, Issue 1
February 2009
What Is It?

The "Dandy Barrel Pump" (United States patent #681,807, September 3, 1901) was used to draw liquid from a wooden barrel or keg to be dispensed into another (most likely smaller) container. The liquid in the barrel was commonly vinegar, cider or whiskey. The pump shown here was missing the spout, so we crafted a replacement. Note that the entire device, except for a leather disk, is made from wood and, wherever possible, uses tapered friction fit to avoid the use of fasteners.

The label states the following instructions for use:

1.   Bore hole in barrel large enough so pump will pass loosely through it. Insert bushing on pump in bunghole. Do not pound bushing with hammer, but apply pressure downward with hand in spiral movement.

2.   If it is desired to remove piston rod, remove the spout first, and always replace the rod before replacing the spout.

3.   To prolong life and effectiveness of this pump, clean and sterilize same by slowly pumping hot water through it between barrel changes.

The label also claims that the pump is adapted to all the usual liquids, such as those stated above as well as alcohol, syrup, glycerin, turpentine, witch hazel, linseed oil, soldering flux, light oils, distilled water, etc., dispensed from barrels and kegs.

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