Lepley Leatherworking Fork, Somerset County, Pennsylvania

This attractive, well-made tool was found in a bucket of old Lepley rifle parts and gunsmithing tools in Southampton Township, Somerset County, PA in the early 1970's. At first I wasn't sure what it was for. Now, after having seen similar modern tools, I am fairly certain that it is for marking or making evenly spaced holes in leather, such as for stitching together the traditional leather shoulder bags for holding hunting supplies; i.e. spare bullets, patches and caps or flints.

The center-to-center spacing on the tines is about 0.415". The overall length of the fork is 4.79". The tool is made from non-ferrous material. The material is probably brass or copper, judging from the presence of a slight amount of verdigris. Two older photos of the fork are included below.

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