16 Puzzling Things From the Past That Are More Meaningful Than It May Seem at First Glance

year ago

Many of us probably dreamt of going on a treasure-hunting mission after watching Indiana Jones movies as kids. Some of us even tried to find some hiding spots in the attic or basement. These Internet users also found old and puzzling items in their gardens or at flea markets and decided to ask online experts what the purposes of these things were.

“What is the meaning of these characters on the vintage clock face?”

Answer: It says “use the time” in Swedish. I’m sure the hands point to times where numbers would be otherwise, but the letters are just there as a decorative saying. Kind of like people having signs in their house that say things like, “Laugh often, love much,” etc.

“I found this in a cupboard at an old farm. I have no clue what it could be.”

Answer: It’s a vintage device for making mayonnaise.

“I received it as a Christmas gift from my father-in-law. I can’t for the life of me figure out what its purpose is.”

Answer: I’m interested to know the context of receiving this gift because this device was historically used to keep patients’ mouths open during surgery to prevent suffocation.

“This thing is right in the center of my bedroom’s floor. What is it?”

Answer: This is a servant’s call button.

“I found this while cleaning out my granddad’s garage. It’s some sort of a mechanism with moving metal parts inside.”

Answer: It’s a vintage music-on-hold device on which you could put a handset while being away from the phone for some time.

“I found it on the street, it’s filled with little metal balls.”

Answer: That is an counterweight for an old adjustable height chandelier or ceiling lamp.

“The part above the handle rotates...”

Answer: It’s a kite spindle. It seems like a reproduction of what they used to use in the mid-1800s to the early 1900s.

“What is this oval metal tool that I found in a box of sewing and craft supplies?”

Answer: This is a vintage holder for carrying books. It’s missing 2 straps, which pass through the holes on each end and are to be wrapped around books to carry.

“What’s this clip thing? I found it in a lot of vintage jewelry I bought online, but I’m not sure what it’s for.”

Answer: Its a dress clip. Often worn in pairs and usually clipped around the neck of a dress, blouse, or coat. It’s made to not make a hole in the cloth as a brooch would do.

“What’s the use of this fourth piece of cutlery I’ve seen in a German museum?”

Answer: It’s a baby food pusher that was quite common in the 1800s to early 1900s.

“I found it in an old barn. The lid inside holds a mirror. The bag appears to be burlap inside and a different material on the outside — it’s blue inside and has no smell.”

Answer: It’s a lady’s reticule (a tiny handbag popular in the nineteenth to early twentieth century).

“I found this in the attic. The little flappy arms fold completely down, forward, or backward.”

Answer: It’s a folding tie rack.

“A round steel rotating ball on a tripod with multiple lens holes, purchased at an auction in 1988. The purchaser didn’t know what it was then either, and it’s been sitting in a garage since.”

Answer: It’s an operating room light with some missing pieces.

“Is this vintage jewelry? Curved gold with diamonds with pearls on the ends. One pearl unscrews. There is no writing on it.”

Answer: It’s a collar pin. There is no “pin” because it’s passing through pre-existing holes in the collar.

“A heavy, hollow clear glass object I dug up while clearing for a garden. It’s in surprisingly good shape. Any ideas?”

Answer: That is a feeder for a bird cage.

“An expanding metal ring with an ornate cap and handles”

Answer: It’s the opening to a vintage purse. Fabric would be sewn around the opening, like a bag.

Preview photo credit Unknown author / Reddit


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