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What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

  • Category: Pics  |
  • 26 Nov, 2020  |
  • Views: 3444  |
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An old shield from my grandparents. About 30cm across. Has “Elkington” inscribed on the back.
A: Looks like Elkington & Co used to be an electroplate manufacturing company that made replica shields, among other things.

1 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

Looks like a spine of some sort? Found on the beach at the Jersey shore.
A: Whelk egg case.


2 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

Found this pin in the basement of a house built in the 1800s. Any info on this? I believe it’s connected to the Knights Templar/Freemasons.
A: Boston hosted the triennial conclave (think national convention) for some 20,000 Masons that year, so presumably a sort of delegate ribbon worn by someone from the Knights Templar lodge in Keene who went.


3 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

Little door next to big door. Every apartment has one.
A: Would've been for milk delivery. There would've been access from the inside as well; milkman places milk in from the hallway, resident can retrieve it without opening the main door.


4 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

No idea what this is, passed down in the family we’ve had it since the 1880s as it was owned by my grandmother’s grandmother.
A: It's one of the character in the Chinese mythology, the Eight Immortals. This appears to be the first of the group, more well known as 铁拐李 鐵拐李, which translates to Iron Crutch Lee, instead of his real name.


5 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

My dad found this on the road, he picked it up so that no one ran it over, we have no idea what it is, its dull at the top, and gets a bit thinner towards the bottom.
A: Its a fence pole tip and/or those poles that block cars so they don't go on city squares have them.



6 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

Heard a very odd sounding plane overhead just now. This is in the Midwest USA. Flying fairly low, but this is zoomed in quite a bit. What kind of plane is this?
A: That’s a Rutan Long-EZ. It’s a homebuilt (amateur/experimental) airplane that comes as a kit.


7 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

It is a chair looking thing. The white is cushion. It was on the curb and I thing it is to do the sex.
A: It is an Ikea Jesper bench. For playing video games.


8 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

"Brass Bomb" or that's what the guy at the estate sale called it. Its heavy, metal body, and has 18 concave brass nobly things. No markings of any kind. Seems to be solid. Ideas?
A: It is just an objet de decor.


9 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

This thing is above my hospital bed... None of the nurses know what it is/is for.
A: Battery powered emergency light. The red light shows it has power and the battery is charging. When the power fails that light comes on automatically to light your escape.


10 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

About 1.5 inches long soft metal pincher thing.
A: I grew up on a strawberry farm, they are used for removing the stems from strawberries.


11 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

Small white balls that appear on the terrace after rain. Any idea?
A: There were some bean bag cushions that used to reside outside here.


12 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

Tiny glass cylinder with magnetic balls and dark liquid inside. Found magnet fishing in SE United States.
A: The rattle out of a fishing lure.


13 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

Gas cooking hob - what is the spike next to the sparker?
A: It's a flame detector.


14 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

Glass cylinder with yellowish fluid containing a glass rod.
A: It's a giant sealed ampoule of a gas. My guess would be chlorine from the color.


15 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

Found some old Oriental silk garments of my great grandfathers.
A: Dressing in robes like these to play mah jong was quite in vogue in the 1920s-30s.


16 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

Massive intricate platter purchased by my grandfather in Saudi Arabia in the 60's. 1 ft ruler for scale. Islamic calligraphy, scene depicting an old story maybe?
A: It's a table. You're missing the bottom. I've seen them sold as wall hanging often. I've got one. Mine doesn't have a picture its covered in flowers. I'm sure they have a name but haven't been able to find it. Search Turkish brass coffee table... that's the closest to finding a name I've come.


17 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

This thing at an escape room in central London amongst lots of old tech.
A: This looks similar to a gyroscope my grandfather has. He says it’s from a navy torpedo.


18 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

Removing wallpaper revealed drywall that looks like it was screen printed. Is there a name for this type of 'decorative' drywall? House was built in 1950, Upstate New York.
A: I don't think such 'decorative drywall' exists and this could very well be old, thin, well-stuck wallpaper. Which could be result of many layers of wall paper over the years and the adhesives layering on the original wallpaper to create the look as if its not actually wallpaper.


19 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

What does this wall switch with circle dial and fuse do? Found in 1950s house.
A: I have something similar in my house built in the 1950's and the dial would select the circuit and the button on the bottom would turn the circuit on and off. In my case it could control 80% of the lights in my house. They took the wiring down from 110-120v to 24v and used tones of small wires. You probably have some relay boxes in a closet somewhere unless the house was rewired.


20 What Are These Things For? (20 pics)

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