Author Topic: Grease Horn  (Read 1064 times)

Offline JSMOSBY

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Grease Horn
« on: August 27, 2023, 08:08:18 PM »
I can't remember ever seeing one of these on the loose.  Occasionally I'll find one of the wooden or metal buckets.  In any case I found this one at a show in Cheyanne this weekend and brought it home.  The wood plug will remain in place for obvious reasons.  No need to remove it.  The center base plug appears to be cork or similar.  Not sure about the nail heads (?).  A little worm damage.  None penetrate the horn.  I like the forged metal attachments.  Enjoy














Offline PhDBrewer

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Re: Grease Horn
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2023, 12:48:22 AM »
Interesting!
Thanks for posting.
What kind of grease? For guns or cooking or ?

Offline JSMOSBY

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Re: Grease Horn
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2023, 01:35:21 AM »
My understanding is that heavy duty lubricant/grease was within to be used on the leather and wood bearing surfaces of wheels and axles on wagons.  Not sure about this but I believe it was a blend of tar, kerosene and paraffin wax.  I would assume that it would have been used on other sliding or radial surfaces as needed.

Offline Jeff Murray

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Re: Grease Horn
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2023, 02:03:12 AM »
INteresting horn.  Wish it could share some stories.

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Grease Horn
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2023, 03:51:39 PM »
Very interesting horn and horn use.
.
We should not lose sight of the fact that horn was the "plastic" of the medieval times and was used until our time, when it was supplanted by plastics. Children's spoons were still made of horn for a long time, just like the better combs. Good buttons are still made of horn. Cow horns were suitable for storing a wide variety of materials. I still remember the time when farmers mowed grass  that was not easily accessible to machines with a scythe. Everyone had a container of water on their belt, in which there was a whetstone for sharpening the edge of the scythe. This container was made of tin or simply a cow's horn. Such a horn is also suitable for wagon grease. However, these horns for everyday use have hardly survived.

Thank you for showing this horn

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Grease Horn
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2023, 04:10:17 PM »
 Neat find, I've heard of them before but have never seen one. Wonder how do you get the "Grease" in or out of it? Maybe poured in when melted and dug out with a stick through the plug hole?

   Tim

« Last Edit: August 30, 2023, 03:46:11 PM by Tim Crosby »

Offline JSMOSBY

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Re: Grease Horn
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2023, 05:14:01 PM »
Assuming the nails attaching and retaining the metal collar are driven into the wood plug (retaining) the only way to fill or access is through the plugged hole.  In order to do that the material must be pourable, low viscosity, which is counter intuitive to the thick grease we all know and love.  But maybe a thick fluid material was good enough and appropriate for the intended use.  I would think the components (tar, kerosene and wax) could be blended together to form thick lube that would stay in place.  (I hear experiment...)

Another scenario is that the nails retaining the collar do not go into the wood plug and just peened or bent to stay in place.  The wood plug would then be removable to fill and access for larger amounts leaving the small cork plug for smaller applications.  If you look at the end view there is a pretty evident joint or witness line between the wood plug and horn.

Offline bluenoser

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Re: Grease Horn
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2023, 06:16:49 PM »
I am only seeing two rivets or nails, which I suspect do not go into the wood.  Is it possible that small "plug" is actually the remnant of a knob to facilitate the removal of the base plug?  That would seem to make sense, given the intended use of the horn.

Offline T.C.Albert

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Re: Grease Horn
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2023, 06:35:04 PM »
I believe Iíve seen them hanging in pairs on a chain.
I was told they hung under a wagon that way.
Tim A
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Contact at : huntingpouch@gmail.com

Offline Tanselman

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Re: Grease Horn
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2023, 08:15:13 PM »
I've seen numerous sets over the years at antique shows/shops here in the Midwest. Original they were made in pairs on a chain [at least all the ones I've come across]. Most grease horns seen today have the lids missing and are open on top; only a few still have the lid intact as on this one. I think they usually hung from a nail on the outside wall of the wagon. I'd guess, but don't know, that they were mostly hung on wagons going substantial distances, rather than on the normal farm wagons where a small central supply could handle all the owner's wagons/buggies.

Shelby Gallien

Offline JSMOSBY

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Re: Grease Horn
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2023, 03:00:14 PM »
Abrasive wear and polish are apparent on the inner edge of the collar eye tab and the complimenting surface of the hook from hanging and swinging.  The light color area around the horn itself is very smooth I surmise from frequent use and not purposeful polishing.  Period photos of freight wagons and others often show the buckets hanging under the wagon.  The buckets I found both in the midwest and east coast were missing the tops also.  I did find a couple with a brush and heavy stick for applying the grease.  BTW, the residue grease was very hard but a bit tacky.

Offline Dutch Blacky

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Re: Grease Horn
« Reply #11 on: September 05, 2023, 03:42:49 PM »
I just saw an pair of these grease horns in ebay.de









https://www.ebay.de/itm/265919843328
« Last Edit: September 05, 2023, 03:52:47 PM by Dutch Blacky »

Offline JSMOSBY

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Re: Grease Horn
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2023, 07:34:12 PM »
Thanks for posting.  Good info.