1 On a horse-drawn vehicle: a pivoting bar or set of bars used to transmit the force from two or more singletrees to the vehicle; sometimes the whole apparatus including the singletrees. Note: A few DARE and LAUM Infs appear to use evener in the same sense as singletree n or even to interchange their senses; it is unclear whether this is an established usage or merely reflects lack of familiarity with the implements. [Calque of Du evenaar] chiefly Nth See Map and Map Section Also called equalizer n 1 Cf doubletree n
[1655 Donck Beschryvinge 15, Nu richten wy dies weynigh mede uyt als kammen en staven in de Molens van te maken, oock Dorsch-houten en Evenaers voor het Acker-werck, om dat het soo taey is. [=We use this [=walnut wood] currently for a few things, as to make cogs and pins in mills, and flail-swingles and eveners for fieldwork, because it is so tough.] 1787 in 1906 Anjou Ulster Co. NY Probate Rec. 2.18 seNY, 1 Evenaar with botts [sic for bolts] & Clives. [DARE Ed: The writer of this inventory was almost certainly a Dutch speaker.]] 1814 Reporter (Brattleboro VT) 8 Jan /3, [Advt:] Stolen from the City of Albany . . a Waggon laden with Merchants Goods. . . Said waggon was drawn by a crooked iron evener. 1820 Amer. Farmer 2.149 cwMA, We then draw from the centre, by means of a draft chain, one hook of which is attached to the front centre square of each harrow, and the chain of the evener, (if drawn by horses) or that of the yoke, if drawn by oxen, hooked to the centre of this draft chain—of the former we put in 3—of the latter 2 yoke. 1872 (1876) Knight Amer. Mech. Dict. 1.813/2, Evener. A double or treble tree to ‘even’ or divide the work of pulling upon the respective horses. 1894 Century Illustr. Mag. 48.869, It is worth while remarking here that the “double-tree” is known in some Northern regions by an excellent descriptive name, the “evener.” 1927 (1970) Sears Catalogue 1002, Five-Horse String Out Plow Evener. . . Main evener, 1¾x4½x54 in. Short evener, 1¾x3¾x25⅜ inches. Singletrees, 1⅜x2½x28 in. Doubletree, 1¾x4½x38 in. 1939 LANE Map 173, The term evener is the most common term in nearly all parts of New England for the cross bar that connects the two whiffletrees . . but is frequently applied to the whole assembly of whiffletrees and cross bar considered as a unit—usually in the singular form, but three times in the plural. . . Occasionally the term is used in both meanings by the same informant. 1950 WELS ([Diagram shows evener connected to whiffletrees]) 36 Infs, WI, Evener; 1 Inf, Evener set; 1 Inf, This entire affair [including the whiffletrees] is referred to as an evener. c1960 Wilson Coll. csKY, Evener. . . A doubletree or tribbletree. Very rarely used. 1965–70 DARE (Qu. L47, The two moveable bars behind a team of horses are fastened to a longer piece; this is a _____) 137 Infs, chiefly Nth, Evener; TX29, Three-horse evener; OH81, Two-horse evener; (Qu. L46, Behind each horse there’s a moveable bar [the leathers or ropes from the collar are fastened to it]—what would you call this?) Infs IL33, IA46, MI97, MO19, NY189, OH81, Evener [DARE Ed: 2 Infs corrected this resp to singletree; 2 gave this resp also at Qu. L47]. 1973 Allen LAUM 1.215 (as of c1950), 5 infs, IA, MN, SD, Singletree. . . evener. Ibid 216, The device by which two—or more—horses are hitched to a buggy or wagon produces some semantic confusion. . . Several use evener for the third or equalizing bar and the plural eveners for the entire set. Evener competes with doubletree(s), with the latter slightly more frequent (82% to 54%). [Varr include] four-horse evener. . . pair of eveners. . . set of eveners. . . three-horse evener. 1982 Greenfield Recorder (MA) 27 Feb sec A 4, If a horse trotted along at a smart pace and hit one [=cradle hole], it would snap a harness or the bolt on the evener instantly. 1984 MJLF 10.150 WI, nME, Evener. A wooden bar which pivots on a pin and to the ends of which the whiffle trees are hooked. It allows the teamster to adjust the rigging to throw the greater part of the load on the stronger horse.
2 A weapon. Cf equalizer n 2
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