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, April 17, 2008

Set 228

1276. 3-1/2" long, from the 1800's:

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1277. 16" long:

From Scotty Fulton's collection

1278. 4-3/4" long:

1279. 12" long:

These next two were submitted by visitors:

1280. 7" long:

1281. 11" long:

1282. Approximately 10" long, from the 1760's, take a look at Neatorama for more guesses on this device.

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Previously seen on this site:

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.


  • 1277-Climbers ice axe
    1278-Ox shoe
    1279-Anti-pigeon guard
    1282-Black powder tester

    By Anonymous tim underwood, at 4/17/2008 4:29 AM  

  • 1277. Agree on ice climbing axe.
    1278. Agree on oxen shoe.
    1279. Agree on bird or pigeon spikes.
    1280. Jewelers clamp or hand vise - missing wedge to hold item tight in other end.

    By Blogger Canem, at 4/17/2008 6:30 AM  

  • 1277: ditto. unusual in that it has a hammer head.
    1278: I was guessing a corrective shim for horseshoes. The square nail holes are the clue that if fits on an animal hoof.
    1281: for cutting rope? or maybe an old fashioned ball joint separator?
    1282: Ditto

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/17/2008 6:49 AM  

  • 1276 Chalk Line holder. Used by Construction crews to mark line.

    By Blogger Harold, at 4/17/2008 7:56 AM  

  • 1276 is a capper for percussion firearms

    By Anonymous Ross, at 4/17/2008 10:04 AM  

  • 1280 is indeed a jewelers hand vise. When I was a jeweler I used them frequently.

    By Blogger Stewart, at 4/17/2008 2:35 PM  

  • 1276 = Ted Cash brand, capper used for dispensing and placing percussion caps for cap-lock muzzle loading rifle. Very common if you are into that sort of thing.

    1277 = ice axe for glacier climbing

    1278 = 1 of a pair of Shoes for oxen (cloven hoof)

    1280 = Some kind of clamp used in handiwork, sewing?

    1282 =black powder tester; used to test the potency of black powder used in muzzle loading arms. The pressure from igniting a small, measured charge of powder spins the ratchet and gives a crude measure of strength.

    By Blogger John Nicholas, at 4/17/2008 9:02 PM  

  • 1281. Sorry about coming late to the party. This would be an effective tool for cutting copper or lead pipe of a set thickness. I am not sure how someone would use the pointed end. Perhaps to split the end of the pipe.

    - Edward

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/19/2008 11:00 AM  

  • 1281. On further consideration, if I was a phone line repairman and I wanted to strip the insulation away from a length of 50 pair (or maybe 100 pair) cable, I would use the curved end of this tool to cut throught he insulation in two places and the pointed end to split the insulation between the two cuts.

    - Edward

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/19/2008 4:34 PM  

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