The loft on this iron is adjusted by turning the square metal extension/bolt at the back of the hosel; this will loosen the blade from the hosel. A hole running side to side through the square metal extension/head of the bolt allows for inserting a special tool, probably a thin metal rod of some type, in order to obtain greater leverage when tightening or loosening the blade. Of course a wrench could be used, though it, too, would be inconvenient for the golfer to carry around.
The large number of small grooves cut in the base of the hosel mesh with grooves cut in the end of the blade. By having many small grooves, the blade can adjust to more lofts than can most adjustable irons, which have larger grooves.
The only other adjustable iron that used this same adjusting mechanism is shown and discussed in TCA2 volume 2, page 450. That iron has a blade shaped more like a light bulb in its outline. The iron offered here is a variation of the other club, with the oval shape of its blade being the only difference. The auctioneer believes the same person made both clubs as simply different styles. Again, the mechanisms are identical. The fact that the maker did not bother to mark the heads indicates that he had not made very many. If his irons had made it into the mainstream retail market, they would have been marked with the makers name.
The head shapes of these two irons, the mechanism employed, and the overall nature of the heads are indications that both irons were made at some point in the early 1900s. The example offered here has its original shaft and leather-wrapped grip.
A large problem with both of these irons was their thin blades. The iron offered here, for example, does not really have a sole. Instead the bottom of the blade has a sharp edge, much like a knife edge, and is prone to slicing well into the turf if given half a chance to do so. Furthermore, the tall, uniformly thin blade made it difficult to hit the ball solid, as did the downward curving leading edge of each iron.
Given the impractical nature of this club on a number of levels, and the fact that only two irons with this mechanism are known to the auctioneer, its safe to say that few of these clubs were made. Hence, a great collectible! Note that there is a small hole in the back of the blade near the hosel. This is a manufacturing "defect" that allows the threaded bolt, used to attach the clubhead to the hosel, to pull the clubhead tight to the hosel. This poorly engineered design is another evidence that this club was made in very small numbers.