What is it?

I've been collecting unusual objects for quite a while, and several years ago I started posting them on this site as puzzles for visitors to figure out what they are. Most of the items are mine but a few belong to others, if you aren't interested in tools there are plenty of other type objects that have also been posted.

For first time visitors I recommend this archive for a wide variety of some of my best pieces.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

569. 5-1/2" long

570. This might have been a good one to post on Halloween, the photos below were sent to me by someone who has had this box up in their attic for years, it measures 12” x 10” x 6”.

The metal parts are perhaps pewter or some light alloy, the owner doesn't know what they were used for.

571. 8-1/2" long

572. 7" long

Shown fully closed in the first photo:

573. The star shaped discs are 9" diameter

574. 10-1/2" long

After removing the wing nut, the two pieces can be separated:


Thursday, January 19, 2006

563. 6" long, totally sealed glass container filled with liquid:

564. 9-1/4" long

565. 10-1/2" tall

566. 3-1/4" long

567. 17" long

568. 5-3/4" long


Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Mystery Objects

This is a repost of items that have yet to be identified, the majority of them were sent in by readers of this site. Please let us know if you recognize any of them.

436. 9" tall to the top of the rods, this was among the items to be tossed out from an old municipal building in Pennsylvania.

471. 5" diameter

With faceplate removed:

518. 46" long

4" wide

Thanks to Tom for sending in this catalog scan to help solve this floor rammer:

543. Found in an early home in upstate NY, the patent appears to be 18?? and is stamped on back of what looks like a tack hammer head. Overall length is 14 1/2", iron teeth strip is 12" L x 5/16" W, mounted on a 1/2" x 1" rectangular strip of wood (wood is nicely fluted on top).

244. 2 1/4" diameter

228. Please see the second post on this page for more photos of this one.

76. 5" tall

186. The top part of this tool can pivot all the way down to either handle. 13 1/2" long

570. This might have been a good one to post on Halloween, the photos below were sent to me by someone who has had this box up in their attic for years, it measures 12” x 10” x 6”.

Answer: A Civil War era mortician’s facial reconstruction kit

202. The frame is cast with the words "BATESON AUTO TOOL WKS ROME NY A1". The overall length is 20" from the end of the handle to the other end. It apparently mounts in a bench vise, there is a pad in the center of the C frame. The hand wheel adjusts the pad closer to the reamer/ spotface assembly. The button on the pad measures 1/2" and the reamer measures .505".

212. 6 1/2" long

246. 39" high, 8" wide

More pictures of this one

298. 8" long

447. 19" long, made of light cast iron, this tool was found in the woods on the site of a former barn in the southern part of the province of Quebec. The barn was razed probably 80 to 100 years ago.

The distance between the two points in the photo above is 10-1/2".

Thanks to Dan for helping solve this one, it's a part of a one-man bucksaw, as seen in his photo:

432. 9-1/2" long, marked "Royal" and "23 oz"

383. 12" long

If you have a mystery item of your own that you would like posted here, feel free to email photos of it to me at the address listed under my profile. You can also submit unusual objects that are known, but that will be of interest to visitors of this site.

Back to the latest set of photos

Thursday, January 12, 2006

557. 6" long

558. 11" long

559. A close-up of an object that some people might recognize:

560. 4" tall

Brass pins hold the two pieces together:

561. 50" long

562. 2-1/8" diameter, patented in 1898