Always amazed at the number of strange accessories that were produced for the Model T. This thing apparently acted as a spring to pull the tie rod back to the straight position after a turn. Seems to me it would also make it harder to turn!
See and read about it here:
https://books.google.com/books?id=dboyAQAAMAAJ&pg=RA2-PA328&lpg=RA2-PA328&dq=Ste rautomat+Automatic&source=bl&ots=AsxDh9-2Ch&sig=YEJYBAHZuscCKCHtjcsXiZ5BCvU&hl=e n&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiD9ofLg5bVAhWC0YMKHTVVBHEQ6AEILTAB#v=onepage&q=Sterautomat%20A utomatic&f=false
Offset Spindles do the same thing. Dan