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Thread: Ox knobs

  1. #1

    Ox knobs

    Hiya,
    I have a hypothesis that ox knobs were mostly a 19th century, into the 20th century thing. The inside screw looks difficult to produce for colonial times. Does anyone know?
    Thanks!
    On Instagram- oxshoedrew

  2. #2
    Something else to ponder, why don't we find them here in the midwest? In 40+ years of detecting I've never found one, nor do I know anyone who's found one around here. Curious.
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  3. #3
    That's really interesting. This tool does not seem to exist in Europe. Or I don't know the name. The question of dating is even more exciting.

  4. #4
    Elite Member Digger_O'Dell's Avatar
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    I suspect ox knobs were more of a cultural item, or maybe a regional fad? The East coast seems to have had more English and French settlers early on, and Irish towards the mid to late 1800s. In the Midwest it was more a wave of German and Polish settlers. So maybe either the Germans and Polish had enough sense to get out of the way of the Oxen, or were they not smart enough to use the knobs? We may never know...
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Digger_O'Dell View Post
    I suspect ox knobs were more of a cultural item, or maybe a regional fad? The East coast seems to have had more English and French settlers early on, and Irish towards the mid to late 1800s. In the Midwest it was more a wave of German and Polish settlers. So maybe either the Germans and Polish had enough sense to get out of the way of the Oxen, or were they not smart enough to use the knobs? We may never know...
    I think you're probably onto something. Being a cultural item or regional fad would explain why we don't find them here in the Midwest. Certainly they used oxen here, I've seen them in many local historical photos.
    Lifetime totals:
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  6. #6
    I think you are close on the dates Drew. Maybe they reach back into the 18th century a bit. I recall reading they were used to prevent the oxen from goring each other while they yoked in tandem. Oxen were expensive pieces of equipment back in the day. I can see wanting to protect your major investment. As to why they seem "regional", maybe in the later years as the wave of white settlers pushed further west they didn't yoke the oxen so close together and there wasn't a big threat of them goring each other ???
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  7. #7
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    Oxen were used earlier and then they start with horses and the the "iron horse" around 1900. John Deere at that time gave away some of the first tractors and farmers loved them. Once that happened, oxen were not used anymore. Horses were way easier to use as farming, but oxen were mostly used to haul things and a bit of farming. Oxen also cannot go a long ways, so that is why horses were mostly used. We don't see them in the Midwest because frankly they couldn't make the trip from the East Coast. Let's just say technology was a faster progress versus oxen being slowly heading Westward.
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  8. #8
    Thanks for all the input, guys! As to the midwest issue, maybe those places got going after the reaper was invented in 1834 which only used horses. I know people inhabited the Firelands in Ohio before that, but even that didn't get going until after the War of 1812.
    On Instagram- oxshoedrew

  9. #9
    Administrator del's Avatar
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    Its funny that this post was made because I was just detecting last week and seen a large number of Oxen in some fields near some cellars we were detecting , you almost don't see them anymore and here was a beautiful stone walled field with maybe a dozen or more grazing . The view must of been similar to what people saw about 200 years ago , we all took a moment to watch.

    I agree with some of the sentiments here , oxen were extremely valuable to their owner's and their health and care was a priority for the family's survival . They were used to clear stone and wood from land , plow and plant fields , maintain roads , pull equipment , wagons and even help construct buildings but as horses and mules gained in popularity and abundance oxen took a back seat because of their immense size , slowness and dangerous horns and temperament.

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  10. #10
    How about this?
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  11. #11
    Wow, now that's a pair of show knobs!
    On Instagram- oxshoedrew

  12. #12
    Administrator del's Avatar
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    Name:  oxknobs.jpg
Views: 19
Size:  64.9 KBwish they didn't sound so good in the ground !
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  13. #13
    I like that idea for presentation!
    On Instagram- oxshoedrew

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