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, October 11, 2007

Set 201

1109. 7" tall:

1110. Approximately 22" long, more guesses on this one and a chance to win a t-shirt at Neatorama:

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From Jack Devitt's collection

1111. 9-3/8" long, maybe someone can tell me what this hook is for, I've shown it to a lot of people but no one has been able to identify it, the only text on it is "SP":

1112. 7-3/4" long:

1113. 12-3/4" long, patented in 1888:

1114a. Submitted by a visitor who is looking to find the purpose of this device:

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The owner's description:

1.The box is 17"L x 5 1/4 " H x 4 7/8" W.--- 2.Metal tag in top of testing area reads Roller-Smith Co. Type B Instrument # 1445 -Bethlehem Pa. ---3. It is hand dated 8/13/18 on warranty sticker attached to bottom--- 4."Battery Instructions" attached to the bottom of the box indicate it was powered by 2 flashlight batteries.--- 5.There is a small swing needle meter with + , - and center indicator (see picture 1114e)----6. The white scale strips which run the length of the box are numbered but do not indicate what is being measured. There are four sets of numbers on the scales ---brown ---- black ---- red ---blue and at the right end of the box there is a copper bar which has corresponding colors with a plug-in attached to a cloth covered electrical conductor running down into the box. The scale strips start at 0 on upper scale strip top right end and continues to 1000 on upper strip left top end then drops down to lower strip left top end and continues from 1000 to 200000 on lower strip top right end (see close-up picture 1114c) . ---- 7. Running down the length of the white scale strips in their centers is stretched a fine wire (see yellow arrow in picture 1114c)---also see hand held probe attached to a cloth covered conductor --- I'm thinking the probe was run along the wire by hand until the swing meter needle centered and thus a reading of the number at location of the probe was made. 8. Also there are two loose "Percentage Scale for Ohm/meter" strips. When laid on the white scale strips they were perhaps a means to measure resistance (see picture 1114d). When not in use the ohm strips are held by clips in the cover of the box (see picture 1114b)


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Two close-ups:




To submit photos, click on the profile link at the upper right to find my email address.


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.



  • The rolly thing is a pasta cutter.

    By Anonymous orionriver@gmail.com, at 10/11/2007 12:30 PM  

  • 1110. For fabric or leather

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/11/2007 6:04 PM  

  • 1114a would appear to be some form of Wheatstone bridge for measuring resistances. Perhaps a Kelvin-Varley bridge for very low resistances (telephone/telegraph lines).

    By Blogger professorpaul, at 10/11/2007 6:47 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger Kris, at 10/12/2007 1:17 AM  

  • 1111.
    Shim removal tool, as seen here:

    By Blogger Kris, at 10/12/2007 1:29 AM  

  • 1114.I agree with professorpaul, but would add that it looks like this thing is also a volt meter. So I think it's a primative volt/ohm meter.

    By Blogger Stewart, at 10/12/2007 7:15 AM  

  • 1114: I'm guessing that the cylinder on the right side of the top is a microphone for when the device is being used as a telephone? (I assume that's why there is a TEL GALV switch) Can it be rotated so that you're speaking directly into it?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10/17/2007 7:28 AM  

  • >Can it be rotated so that you're speaking directly into it?

    I asked the owner of this device and he said that the object in the top right of the box cover is a "buzzer" and it is securely fastened to the cover.

    By Blogger Rob, at 10/20/2007 9:07 AM  

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