"What is the hollow part of this for? Never seen anything like it before. Cat for size reference."
A: "A telephone table with storage space for the phone book."
"Found in a house I moved into. The chain has two corks attached on either end."
A: "It is for wine. Ice goes in the little side container to keep it cold. A household staple of the 70s."
"Found this buried in my front yard years ago"
A: "It’s called a push dagger or push knife. That style generally comes in a black plastic sheath with a chain to be worn around the neck."
"Found in the attic of an old country house in Czech ia. Top part is an open container that rolls on the round sticks under it. Bottom is likely just a stand with storage (has little doors from the other side)"
A: "It’s called a mangle, possibly mangel. Used to press linens, sheets, tablecloths."
"Leather Square? Found this in my house when I moved in. Feels like there is something hard inside."
A: "It’s an old paperweight"
"Metal triangles on power lines along 491 in rural NM"
A: "They keep them stable when it’s windy to try and stop the lines from swinging into each other."
"Mechanical cog keyring? – If you spin the disc on the back, the triangle will rotate. I’ve always thought it was part of something once due to the strange shape and notch on the side. Any ideas?"
A: "It’s a model of a rotary (wankel) engine."
"30 ft tall, located in a fenced off area near the low point of my town. Not near a fire station, unsure if it works"
A: "If you are in a tornado area this is an old looking tornado warning siren. If you are near an airbase I would say air raid warning siren. If you are in tornado alley and near and airbase then it’s both."
"Removed a wall plate and found this mirrored contraption fitting in some sort of electrical junction box. Any idea what it is?"
A: "It’s an old alarm motion sensor. Break the beam, set off the alarm. Look at the perpendicular wall for its other half. Could just be a small mirror or reflector as well on the other wall to bounce the beam back."
"Being moved into a TVA facility on a trailer that has 100 wheels but is not attached to a truck, seems to be controlled by an operator with a remote control of some sort. Moved very slow, took about an hour to move about 500 feet and did not seem able to turn corners. Had a State Trooper escort."
A: "That’s a power transformer. I build these for work."
"Metal ‘tray’, in the side wall of an elevator. About 35×40 cm. (12×13-ish inches) the floor buttons are on the same wall, but at the other side."
A: "That’s a “gastronorm tray” used in commercial kitchens."
"What is this metal circle on my bag? Why is it there?"
A: "It’s to pass wired earbuds/headphones through so you can keep whatever device you’re listening to inside the bag. It should be connected to a bigger pocket in the bag."
"I found this on the beach in Delaware it looks like fossilized honeycomb?"
A: "It’s Honeycomb coral."
"What is this thing that sparked like hell when I tried to clean it?"
A: "This is definitely a fuse holder. Most older stoves have a whole line of them (8+), usually under a hinged lid. I’m guessing if there is only one it is for the appliance plug. Cleaning with wet steel wool is a bad idea."
"I found this while metal detecting a 1930s home in Colorado."
A: "That is a valve from a old style fuel pump. They push into the pump body. They were common on cars of the 50’s through 70’s. Mesh in the valve is to strain particles from the fuel."
"A big riveted iron pipe/smokestack (?) in a 19th century Pennsylvania cemetery"
A: "It looks like it could be a “standpipe”. They were used in municipal water systems from before the 1870’s through the early 20th century to provide a pressure head to maintain water pressure in the system. They were eventually replaced by water towers that could provide pressure as well as volume. The riveted construction would be consistent because in the 1870’s boiler companies that made riveted boilers got into the standpipe business."
"American living in Poland. What are these signs with pic of cloud, bridge, and temps telling us?"
A: "Air temp, road temp"
"Found above a cooler in a liquor store. Guy behind the counter said it used to flash when the front door opened"
A: "It is a security alarm system."
"Friend received this passed down from his great great grandfather. It’s believed to be from Persia & about 2,000 years old."
A: "It’s a hairpin or a clothes pin/brooch. If it’s something 2000 years old, you need to see a professional at a museum/institute of archaeology to get it evaluated AND then get it insured."
"Strange pipe. What is the orange sludge?"
A: "Iron bacteria. I know because i have this problem in my basement. It isnt fun and it isnt pretty. It is harmless, just icky and a pain in the neck."
"Mounds outside of hotel near Seoul"
A: "Being Korean, my very first thought is “happy mound” where someone is buried."
"Found in the Portuguese shore."
A: "It’s likely ambergris, which is produced by sperm whales"
"Anyone know what this metal object is? (Might be photography related)"
A: "Looks like an old fashioned Graflex camera flash. These are rare as they were used as novelty light sabers from Star Wars."
"My dad found this in his house when he got back from holiday. No idea how it got there but that’s a different mystery altogether. Looks like a syringe but the middle (green) bit has no hole at the end and moves up and down into the clear claws at the end."
A: "Its a pill dispenser for pets, the pill goes in to the claws and you use the plunger to shoot the pill to the back of the throat"
"Found these tiny metallic (I think) balls in a pile at a truck stop. They’re all perfectly spherical, can’t be crushed or melted. It feels like metal sand."
A: "They’re balancing beads. Pour them inside a tire to balance it instead of putting it on a machine. Cheaper for drivers and faster for technicians."
"Found while metal detecting near an abandoned gold mine circa 1850 in Pike national forest in Colorado"
A: "This is a pre-1911 Chinese coin. Or at least, it’s designed based on a Ming era coin referred to as a Yongle Tongbao 永樂通寶. Yongle is the name of a Ming era emperor who died in 1424 and Tongbao refers to a type of coin with a hole in it. These coins had different denominations based on their material (silver, bronze, copper) and weight."
"I found this in a drawer at my job (at a nonprofit). Yale cleaners is a local dry cleaning place, but I’m still not sure what this is. The red is soft and fabric like."
A: "Lint brush."
"Soft silken balls fills with maybe rice from Japan"
A: "A set of otedama."
"Two plugs on this outlet, not sure what either of them are for! Found in master bedroom of a house built in late 1970s."
A: "Old TV antenna. The kind you could remotely rotate to get better reception."