Out of the Museum

Stumped again!

-A +A


Where: Beermann Plaza at 640 5th St.

When: Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

Free: Donations always accepted


No one knew what Lincoln Area Archives Museum President Elizabeth Jansen was standing next to last week.

That doesn’t make us feel good because we like hearing about the past from our readers.

If you know what this week’s mystery item pictured above that museum volunteer Bob Carlson is holding and what its history is, please send answers to by Tuesday.


Last week’s mystery item

Last week’s mystery item, a vintage farm tool that baffled readers, is a Stewart Ball Bearing Enclosed Gear Clipping Machine. What a name! What a machine!

Why a horse clipping machine? That needs an answer prior to information about the clipping device itself.  For non-ranchers and non-farmers, Lincoln Area Archives Museum docents explain that the hair of a horse is clipped along areas where the harness traces come in contact with the horse. Hair is also clipped along the underside and sides of the neck, shoulders and belly.

Pat McCartney, one of the museum’s faithful donors, gave a Stewart Horse Clipper with a Martin Enclosed Gear Mechanism to the museum in 2010.  It is hand-powered by a crank that easily turns. An ad for the machine says it has an enclosed gear machine, made by Martin. 

The Martin Company is active today with the production of items to help care for horses and other animals. As far as can be determined, this is the same company that produced the mystery item made in the late 1880s.

The machine displayed at the museum was made by John Kerwin Stewart of Stewart Clippers Chicago Flexible Shaft Company.  It sits among other vintage and antique tools in the museum’s Blacksmith’s Structure.

By 1909, an electric version of the clippers was available.

 There are always new displays at the Lincoln Area Archives Museum, 640 5th St.

Veterans’ pictures are wanted for an ongoing museum project. If possible, one photo should be of a veteran in uniform and a second photo should be more recent. 

  • Carol Feineman