Toys, Farm Tools And The Rest

Corn Husker      Exhibit 1

     Corn was a crop that was used to feed livestock. It was stored, on the cob, in silos or corn cribs. The husks, i.e. the leaves encassing the cob, needed to be removed before the cobs were put into the silos or cribs. In the days before mechanical means became available to perform mundane tasks, the husks had to be removed by hand. The item exhibited here made the manual job of husking corn a little bit easier.
      The user would slip his or her middle finger through the leather strap so that the corn husker would be positioned against the palm and with the pointed end aimed away from the thumb. To operate this very simple tool, the user would take hold, with their free hand, of an ear of corn by the silk that projected out of the one end. Then, with the hand onto which the corn husker had been placed, the pointed end of the tool would be positioned among the leaves of the husk, and a downward stroke would be made. The tool would rip through the husk's leaves. With the gash made through the leaves on the one side of the corn cob, they could be grasped and pulled off quite easily. Without using a tool such as this, the husking of corn would require pulling single or a few leaves off at a time, and the job would take long and tire the worker. The corn husker was a very simple, but a very effective and useful tool.