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greynold
Flat iron bar implement found in excavation

Sorry I don't have a picture to post...

I work at a private small university which dates back to 1849. During some excavation work at the base of the foundation of our main Admin building (ca.1889) recently, a piece of flat iron about 1.5 inches wide, 3/8 inch thick and 16 inches long total was found in the dirt, buried several feet deep. What makes it unusual is that the last 4 inches from one end, was cut down the center and the resulting 2 legs bent in opposite directions 90 degrees to the main bar body -- you can almost stand the bar up on these projections. Like an upside down 'T'
At the other end of the bar, about 1.5 inch down from the end is a 5/8 inch drilled hole.

My first thought was that it was some type of old style window weight as the windows there are the double-hung sectional with each section being about 3 ft by 5 ft. But I couldn't understand what the need were for the 4 inch legs splayed out.
My archaelogist/geologist friend thinks it might have been used during the construction -- such as lifting pallet loads to the higher floors.

If anyone knows or has any ideas, glad to hear from you.
Thanks,
Gary

Re: Flat iron bar implement found in excavation

Can you post a picture? A lifting device sounds possible but it seems very thick. Does the drilled hole show any signs of pulling? I wonder if it could have been to attatch a handle.

greynold
Re: Flat iron bar implement found in excavation

Sorry, wasn't able to check my post for a few days...

The foundation is of local cut sandstone or field stone, several feet thick on the perimeter and on several of the internal load-bearing walls that run perpendicular to the outer foundation walls.
The facade is brick, locally excavated and fired.

No, there's no evidence of any significant wear around the 5/8inch hole drilled in the main handle of the flat-iron bar -- as you would have with repeatedly using for lifting heavy loads.

I'll see if I can get someone with a digital camera to post for me.

Thanks for your replies.
Gary

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Flat iron bar implement found in excavation

DW, I wouldn't think it would be a cramp because of the size, the two bent over sections would only be about 3/4" wide. It sounds more like an anchored pin receiver, perhaps for a wrought iron fence. The turned over sections would be inside the wall so it wouldn't pull out.
Jack

greynold
Re: Flat iron bar implement found in excavation

Thanks guys,
I think both of you got it; either as a wrought iron post hanger, which I'm leaning towards based on the 5/8inch hole or, in the buildings construction as a lintel support.
My friend looked at your replies and agrees. He has about 50 years association with the University and remembers wrought iron fencing being located near the building at one time.
Our main Admin building, where the implement was found, was built after the Civil War or War between the States but we did have a hospital where wounded soldiers were cared for across the quadrangle about 100 yds. It had been used as a Women's dorm for 20 or so years that I know of before being torn down.
Anyway thanks again.
Gary

JLMCDANIEL
Re: Flat iron bar implement found in excavation

DW,
Contrary to your assumption, I too can read. You said "I suspect it is an iron cramp or anchor (split end)". As a cramp is generally used as a device for holding masonry together, I disagreed with that assumption because of the size and shape of the item, then agreed with you that it was probably and anchor and from the description most likely a pin receiver for an iron fence and then added a comment about how it would be used for clarity for the OP.

I think you need to be a little less defensive, a lot less condescending, and let other's posts stand on their own.
Jack

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