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.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

738. 6" long, another unidentified tool:

The only writing on it is "Continental Corp., Pats. Pend."

The space between the two sets of jaws increases 1/4" when the handles are compressed:

739. 10-1/2" long, the arm on the right can slide back and forth:

740. Probably about 30" tall:

The paddle shaped part is attached on the right:

741a. 6" long, an early multi-tool patented in 1875, the puzzle here is to name all of the different tools:

741b. A piece is missing in the area indicated by the arrow, see photo 741d.

741c. A similar tool with less functions, "Pat Ap'l 28 1874", the left end has been broken off:

741d. The missing piece was similar to the one noted below:

742. 11-1/2" long

743. 7-3/4" long, patented in 1920:


Last week's set is seen below, click here to view the full post:


  • 741. window glazing tool. Little wheel is a glass cutter, notches in the side to grab & break small runs of etched glass, sliding blade to remove old glaze, spatula on opposite end to install new putty. some of the other recesses may be to open the can of glaze.

    By Blogger pa-ter, at 8/10/2006 5:12 AM  

  • 740. I think is a wool or cotton combing machine or something similar. I think you can even see some in the bottom.

    By Blogger bobbym, at 8/10/2006 3:22 PM  

  • 740. A flax seed separator?

    By Blogger canem, at 8/11/2006 9:44 AM  

  • >741. window glazing tool...

    Correct, though there are a couple more uses for it.

    >740. I think is a wool or cotton combing machine...

    >740. A flax seed separator?

    Neither of these.

    By Blogger Rob, at 8/11/2006 10:50 AM  

  • 741 Glass cutter, can opener, & knife sharpener (missing part). A later version also included a cork screw.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8/11/2006 11:13 PM  

  • 740 - Some sort of grater?

    By Anonymous rfp, at 8/12/2006 12:17 AM  

  • I have seen this piece(#749) many times in years past, all in the same place...our local small town post office! It's the cover to an individual post office box! You'd enter the post office and see literally hundreds of these same metal coverings along the wall! Each person's box had this cover on the box's door. The 2 holes along the bottom were where 2 small knobs were which worked as a combination lock device.The knob on the left had the letters A-M along the outer part of the circle. The right, N-Z. There was a knob which had an arrow-like point which you'd turn to your combination (Ex.Ours was M,Y. The knob above was where you'd turn to pull open/close the post office box door. The large hole was where you could look through a thick piece of glass the metal was mounted on as to see if "They'd put the days mail out yet." It is my understanding that this sort of cover to post office boxes was used from the 1890's thru the 1920's. I am surprised to find out the person found this cover in the dirt in his front yard. It is almost identical to the one we used day after day in the old post office here in Weaverville, NC! The only difference was that the top opening where you'd peek in to see if the mail had been "put out yet" was square and the one in your picture is round.

    By Anonymous L.A.Payne, at 12/24/2006 1:18 PM  

  • #738: Piston ring installation tool.

    By Anonymous Wayne, at 1/04/2007 9:38 AM  

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