This photo shows an antique, hand-forged "rough brake" for a horse-drawn wagon. The photo and the description were provided by my cousin, who lives in Somerset County, but the brake has no known historical connection to the Korns family. The photo is included here so that people can see what an old-time rough brake looked like.
A rough brake was used in steep muddy terrain, when there was too much mud on the wheels for a regular friction-type wagon wheel brake to work. In use, the rough brake was used to tie the wheel to the wagon, to keep the wheel from turning.
Click here to read about what the settlers had to do if they didn't have rough brakes (from the 1903 book "The Old Glade (Forbe's) Road"). In the book, they are called "lock-chains".
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