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, February 08, 2007

Set 156

896. 4" long:

897. 6" long, patented in 1892:

Compressing the handles pushes the blade against the end piece:

898. 2-1/2" long:

899. 12-7/8" long:

900. 12" tall and 11" diameter, Neatorama has more guesses on this device along with lots of great links and interesting articles.

901. 3" long, made of glass:


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

More discussion and comments on these photos can be found at the newsgroup rec.puzzles.


  • 896 - Flare gun (probably for boaters). I fired one off inside a car once, not knowing what it was. Fortunately it was a convertible, and it missed my head by inches. (Recommended for relief of constipation!)

    897 - chewing tobacco plug cutter?

    898 - key for security guard to show when he did his rounds?

    899 - for stamping log ends to identify the company?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/08/2007 7:22 AM  

  • 901 - Seal Holder? Some countries use rounded seals to emboss official documents. They're probably about 3". This looks like it could be the cradle to set the seal on when it is not in use. Just a guess.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/08/2007 7:43 AM  

  • 899. Blacksmiths top tool. Struck with a sledge, not swung like a hammer.

    By Blogger Canem, at 2/08/2007 8:18 AM  

  • 898 An adjustable key for a pocket or sliding door lock.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/08/2007 10:30 AM  

  • Re: #896
    It could be a blasting cap trigger.

    By Anonymous AnotherBrian, at 2/08/2007 10:51 AM  

  • #896 appears to be a pen gun used to fire tear gas. The one I had looked the same and had a penguin as company mascot. It was made in the 60s and looks/d just like that. Not sure if I still have it. The tear gas canister screwed into the end and looked like a hollow point bullit.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/08/2007 2:43 PM  

  • 901. Chopstick rest


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/08/2007 4:56 PM  

  • Correct answers so far:

    896. Tear gas pen

    899. Blacksmith's top tool. Anyone know what they would be making when using this + shaped tool?

    By Blogger Rob, at 2/08/2007 7:30 PM  

  • 900 - Post hole digger?

    By Anonymous Kevin, at 2/08/2007 8:33 PM  

  • 897. -Used for cutting strips of leather? Maybe to cut belts.

    898. -Looks like a lockpick for old locks.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/09/2007 1:09 AM  

  • 896 - Is a mace device powered by a 12 gauge shotgun primer. The cartridge screws into the top threaded area. It comes with 2 cartridges. I still have one!!! One note - it has a warning in the instructions that it can cause blindness if the person is hit in the eyes with the mace.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2/09/2007 11:17 AM  

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