What in the world is this [cast iron object found in a barn]?

If you look at the Flickr link from ticker, it look like the internal piece of the pulley also has heart-shaped cutouts, this could be that piece

Gee. Did the OP ever come back?

That why I post so much. I try to be courteous.

So since we are cloud-reading here…

I wondered if it was a wheel that held a belt or something but we don’t know since the OP hasn’t responded.

I think the hearts indicate it is a “chick” thing.

I’m going to take a wild guess/assumption that it is is grooved to hold a belt or something.

Based on reading replies and on reading clouds my Wild Guess it’s a ‘chick thing’ but perhaps too fancy for a clothes line which leaves me wondering it is some kind of treadle gear such as a sewing machine part or something.

Vote for CYNYC for the What Is It Board. :wink:

I couldn’t see the insert the first time around, but I still can’t picture the OP’s being from a pulley, especially that one since it has 5 hearts and the OP’s has 6. The OP’s has an asymmetrical offset with no place for a large pin to go through the center, and a bracket that doesn’t look useful for a pulley. But it’s the type of bracket used on wheels. From what I can tell, there’s no place for an axle to go through the OP’s object either. There’s a small hole on the front of it, but I think the bracket is attached there, so it’s obviously not from a heavy duty factory cart.

cynyc, from what I can tell, it doesn’t look grooved. I was just thinking the same thing, more photos or information from the OP would be useful. I too think it’s a “chick thing”, like a wheel from a decorative cart for around the house or something, but men of that age were also stuck with heart wheels on manly things like the Boyle Dayton gas cart.

For mercy’s sake, guys, quit freaking out over the (very recent) idea of heart motifs being somehow unmanly.

Pre-mid-20th-century men weren’t “stuck” with heart motifs on industrial or domestic implements used frequently or exclusively by men; they put them there deliberately when they manufactured the implements, because they thought they made an attractive decoration. Some examples:

An industrial pulley with heart cutouts.

Antique boot jacks, some with heart cutouts.

Antique woodworker’s tools including a router with a heart motif.

More antique tools including a 1701 workbench vise with a heart motif.

“Chick thing”, sheesh.

Thank you, I was totally freaking out.

It’s a wheel or pulley. The hearts are decorative.

I’ve seen similar objects attached to gates in corrals… The gates would be too heavy and over time pull the post over so they put them on the bottom for obvious reasons… It probably wasn’t the original purpose though.

Sorry for being unable to get back sooner. It’s def not a pulley, like the poster who saw the larger size images states (and sorry for the small size, that’s just how image shack posted them even though the originals are much larger), there is no groove around the outside of the object for a rope or chain. My cousin says she has not measured it yet, but that it is at least 12in in diameter. As for wheel, if you see the interior side (and there is a marked difference between the two sides) there is a “V” or “U” shaped piece where an axel could possibly rest, but if the “wheel” were to turn, it would fall off the axel it seems, but it does seem more like a wheel than a pulley. I did, in fact, google before I found this board and found nothing like the object. The barn itself is 70 years old or so, but my uncle was an avid collecter and seller of antiques and junk in general, so there’s no telling how long the object has been there or where it came from.

Here are hopefully better image links.

The brackets are very, very similar, but the one on ours is open instead of having the closed end for an axel or bolt. It does not appear to be damaged or altered. Could there be a piece missing? So far, no other similar objects have been found, but the barn is very packed with stuff and it’s a slow process going through it.

That bracket was just an example of how it may attach under something. The one I linked to is a antique factory cart. They have the wheels under the cart, half hidden. Yours, if it went to a cart, would be on the outside and have the bracket hidden and the non bracket side visible.

Obligatory drive-by cow tool posting.

My money is on wheel.

[MoreThanAnyoneReallyWantsToKnowAboutPulleys] Belt pulleys, used in flat belt drive systems, generally don’t have grooves or ridges to keep the belt on the pulley, it does rely on the pulleys being in line. They’re often crowned (as are wheels :smack:) to keep the belt tracking on center but that can also be accomplished by adjusting the pulleys, often there’s an idler pulley just for tracking adjustments. Every belt grinder I’ve seen uses this method.

Two common belt drive applications;
Old school water powered mills with flat, almost always leather, belts transferring power. Flat belts and flat/crowned pulleys make it much easier to move the belt to change gear ratios or power different machines.
Your car, V-belts. Cribbed from Wikipedia, “Vee belts (also known as V-belt or wedge rope) solved the slippage and alignment problem [that flat and round belts suffer from]. It is now the basic belt for power transmission. They provide the best combination of traction, speed of movement, load of the bearings, and long service life. The V-belt was developed in 1917 by John Gates of the Gates Rubber Company. They are generally endless, and their general cross-section shape is trapezoidal. The “V” shape of the belt tracks in a mating groove in the pulley (or sheave), with the result that the belt cannot slip off. The belt also tends to wedge into the groove as the load increases - the greater the load, the greater the wedging action - improving torque transmission and making the V-belt an effective solution, needing less width and tension than flat belts.”
That late development year suggests that V-pulleys aren’t just modified grooved pulleys but were specifically designed to solve problems with flat and round belts in, I’d bet, automobiles.
Grooved pulleys or sheaves, are most commonly seen in blocks most commonly used with rope (AKA line). Grooved pulleys will, almost, always have guides to keep the line on the sheave if constant tension on the line can’t be maintained.

A block with a grooved sheave is more forgiving to different sized line. The groove keeps the line centered with the load even on both sides of the sheave’s axle and away from the block cheeks eliminating friction between line and cheek. A flat sheave block would work best with line that’s very close to the gap between the cheeks when the line is under load. Rove with undersized line and it allows the line to shift from side to side unevenly loading the sheaves axle and transferring some of the load to the cheek. At best this just increases the wear on the block and tackle, at worst it can split the block.
Catastrophic failure of a block while you’re hauling yards might keep your ship in port for an extra day :cool:, catastrophic failure of a block while you’re loading a 36-poundermight keep your ship in port forever :smack:. [/MTARWTKAP]

CMC fnord!

I sent the 2 latest pix to our local farm historian, George Evenson. Here’s what he said, verbatim:

Take that analysis for what you will.

I’m guessing it’s a wheel off of a foot-powered treadle sewing machine. A rod would have connected the wheel to the treadle, which would transfer the up-and-down motion of the treadle to a circular motion to turn the wheel. Then the wheel is connected to the sewing machine by a belt that powers the camshaft that makes the needle go up and down. If you’ve ever seen one, you will know what I’m talking about.