Griswold Cookware

Collectors and collections, History and Stories

Griswold, Lodge, Wagner, Favorite, Wapak, and More!

Griswold Cookware

Collectors and Collections,
History and Stories

Griswold, Lodge, Wagner, Favorite, Wapak, and More!

7 way universal tool cast iron brass thayer unusual shape what is this two holes points hook round finger

Unusual 7-Way “Universal Tool”

7 way universal tool vintage antique cast iron thayer patent

Linda’s Universal “7-Way” Tool. Photo by Linda Lamb. The piece was gifted to her by collector Russ Howser.

I remember running across this weird-looking palm-sized gizmo some years back and having no clue what it was or how it was used. A little discussion with collector Russ Howser and a little research gave me the answer! 

This unusual antique cast iron contraption is a “Universal Tool,” patented by in 1881. It is commonly called a “7-way tool.”

7 Way Tool Universal Cast Iron Brass Thayer 1881 Patent

W.H. Thayer Universal Tool 1881 Patent 7 way cast iron brass vintage antique image drawing


1881 Thayer Patent, p. 2

1881 Thayer Patent, p. 3

Thayer's household combination universal tool 7 way tool cast iron brass 1881
Old ad showing the different uses for the tool. Ad found on the web.

According to the patent specification filed by William Henry Thayer, the tool was made for use as a meat tenderizer, lid lifter, plate & shallow dish carrier, pot & kettle carrier, trivet/stand, pan holder, pouring assist, and more! It is today commonly called a “7-Way Tool.” 

Thayer stand or trivet for pots antique cast iron.

7-way tool description; paper origin unknown. The “candle opener” and “bottle opener” and “pie crimper” uses were additions along the way somewhere; they were not contained in the original patent but are creative additional uses for this piece. Interestingly, it says that the piece is typically found in cast brass. 

A neat piece to add your collection and have for display (Linda has hers hanging on her kitchen wall) if you can find one! 


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