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Rich Rake

A Pennsylvania contribution to the tool kit of forest fire fighter is the Rich Forest Fire Fighting Tool, or more simply known as the “Rich Rake” . The Rich raked was designed by Charles H. Rich in 1921 as an improved type of fire rake. A fire rake is a fire fighting tool used to create a fire break, a gap in vegetation intended to deprive fuel to a forest fire. A Rich Rake has an adjustable head and sharp blades so that the tool can also be used as a brush cutter. Charles Rich lived in Woolrich, PA, in fact his grandfather, John Rich, founded the Woolrich clothing company after which the town was named. After Charles’ death in 1948 his daughter, Geneva Bickel took over the business. She ran the business until 1957 when she sold it to P.A. Stover who continued to operate under the C.H. Rich Forest Fire Tool Company name out of Lock Haven, PA. In the early 1970’s Ms. Brickel donated two Rich rakes and a company advertisement to the PA Lumber Museum (L72.15).

“Rich Rake” L72.15.2
C.H. Rich Fire Tools Brochure L72.15.3
Charles H. Rich US patent issued Oct. 1923 (source Google Patents)