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Film, Video The Lever-lock Gate

About this Item


  • The Lever-lock Gate


  • Fleischhauer, Carl (Interviewer)
  • Wilson, William A. (William Albert), 1933- (Interviewer)
  • Nichols, Jesse "Tex" (Narrator)

Created / Published

  • May 9, 1981


  • -  Artifacts
  • -  Ninety-Six Ranch
  • -  Gates
  • -  Ethnography
  • -  Motion Pictures


  • Ethnography
  • Motion Pictures


  • -  Tex Nichols demonstrates opening and closing a lever-lock gate, made of unfinished wood and wire, a common form found in Paradise Valley.
  • -  Floppy gates made of fence wire stretched between two fence posts are the most common type in Paradise Valley and the surrounding rangeland, although they tend to be limited to secondary or less frequently used openings. Their cheap construction requires a small amount of unfinished wood -- straight tree branches will suffice -- and a little barbed wire. Rigid lumber or metal-framed gates are expensive and tend to be reserved for locations where greater strength is needed, for primary openings on main driveways, or in barnyards.
  • -  Most wire gates are fastened by two loops of plain wire affixed to the top and bottom of the adjacent fence post. To fasten such a gate, plant its end pole in the lower loop of wire, push the top of the pole toward the fence post, and slip the upper loop over the top of the end post. The lever-locking mechanism Tex Nichols demonstrates here takes the place of the upper wire loop. The lever is faster and a little easier to use than the loop, but requires an additional, and stronger, pole. The lever shown here began life as the handle of a rake or spade.
  • -  Visitors to the West have sometimes been puzzled by the operation of the wire gate. When asked to demonstrate it for the camera, Tex Nichols thought it the most natural request in the world. His complaint about people who do not refasten gates embodies a key tenet of rural etiquette: always leave a gate the way you found it. Les Stewart viewed this footage and offered a tip for novice users. "A fastened gate resembles a taut spring," he said, "and the end pole might hit you if you do not grasp it firmly as you release the lever or remove the wire loop."


  • 3/4 inch video

Call Number/Physical Location

  • AFC 1991/021: NV81-VT7

Source Collection

  • Paradise Valley Folklife Project Collection (AFC 1991/021)


  • American Folklife Center

Digital Id

Online Format

  • video

Rights & Access

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The Buckaroos in Paradise collection includes copy photographs of numerous historical still photographs, works of art, and other objects that are owned by the families or individuals identified in bibliographic records for those objects. The collection also includes audio and video interviews with individuals who consented to the inclusion of these selections here.

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Credit line

Paradise Valley Folklife Project collection, 1978-1982 (AFC 1991/021), American Folklife Center, Library of Congress

Cite This Item

Citations are generated automatically from bibliographic data as a convenience, and may not be complete or accurate.

Chicago citation style:

Fleischhauer, Carl, William A Wilson, and Jesse "Tex" Nichols. The Lever-lock Gate. May 9, 1981. Video.

APA citation style:

Fleischhauer, C., Wilson, W. A. & Nichols, J. ". (1981) The Lever-lock Gate. May 9. [Video] Retrieved from the Library of Congress,

MLA citation style:

Fleischhauer, Carl, William A Wilson, and Jesse "Tex" Nichols. The Lever-lock Gate. May 9, 1981. Video. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, <>.