Two new Australian wire strainers

Posted by John Pickard on

One of the most rewarding experiences for me is visiting collectors who generously allow me to photograph their accumulated goodies. In return, I am often able to identify some of their unknown strainers, and provide the patent details.

In early December 2022 while photographing strainers in a private collection, I found a strainer that I'd never seen (and I've seen and handled hundreds!), and one that has never been reported from Australia.

In the same collection there was also a larger tool that appeared to be a chain wire strainer, but actually has a completely different purpose.

The 2 in 1 Wire Strainer

This cast iron strainer is designed for both straining against a post and in-line, hence the name.

It is quite unlike any other strainer, although it has features of some. Unusually, the frame is split to allow passage of the wire to the roller barrel.

Most importantly for identification, the name is embossed on the underside of the nose: 2IN1.

So far I have not been able to find any information on the inventor, the maker, or when it was made.

The Belcher Bog Puller

Although not strictly a wire strainer, Ewen Cameron Belcher's 1931 invention is based on the same principles as chain wire strainers with a pair of hooked grabs that engage with welded chain.

"The object of [Belcher's] invention is to provide cheap, simple, devices by which considerable power or leverage may be applied by a single person for the purpose of hauling vehicles from bogs, and the like."

What is both unusual and distinctive are the hook grabs arranged at 90o to each other. All other chain strainers with hook grabs have the hook grabs in the same plane, and use single-loop weldless chain. And with one or two exceptions, strainers with welded chain use claw grabs.


The 90o arrangement of the hook grabs allows them to hook into the alternating vertical and horizontal links of a welded chain. The chain in the patent specification has a swivel part-way long its length to prevent the puller rotating while under tension. Unfortunately the chain is no longer with the puller.

There were no advertisements under Belcher's name, but it was probably sold under a currently unknown brand name.


Ewen Cameron Belcher Improvements relating to devices for hauling vehicles from bogs and the like. Australian patent 5,172/31. 30 November 1931.

Belcher's patent specification can be found on the IP Australia web site ( by searching for patent number 1931005172.


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