"Small red container. The lid has a small spoon attached to the inside."
A: "Chinese snuff container, I’m guessing chinese script on bottom is also intended as a “chop”~ a signiturizing stamp. this is 99% probably a reproduction, however, it is also consistent with stylism of 16-17th century Qing dynasty. ish."
"Found at a thrift store. Metal part is about 9 inches long. No sharp edges. Small gap between the metal fold. Any ideas?"
A: "I believe it’s for Feuerzangenbowle
"Found in WW1 war front very heavy and made of brass."
A: "That’s the tip of an artillery shell fuse."
"Found on the floor outside my apartment door. Thin metal about 1.5inch long."
A: "It is a key used to test emergency lights. It operates the switch through a small slot"
"What is this adjustable hand tool, potentially for paper crafts or bookbinding?"
A: "Pad making tool. It scoops the same amount of paper from a stack. So that cardboard can be inserted to make a note pad."
"What is this thing? The part above the handle rotates"
A: "It’s a kite spindle. I used to have one. It seems like a reproduction of what they used to use in the golden era… but definitely, 100% a kite spindle!"
"What is this awkwardly placed door on a Verizon building, well above sidewalk level?"
A: "It’s for loading in equipment. The bottom of the door is likeky flush with the floor of the room. It’s pretty common to see this on central office buildings as they are full of bulky/heavy equipment that is periodically updated. As you roam the city, if you look at these buildings you’ll often see several such doors, sometimes larger, and often several stories off the ground. It’s much more efficient to crane this stuff into the buildings fully/partially assembled than to move an enormous number of individual components and assemble them onsite."
"Came to me in the mail today, tried Googling the name but I’m only getting results for medical devices. It’s quite heavy and appears to be pretty used, also has some sort of spanner like object. Also my name and address were on the box but I didn’t order it, so could it be some sort of scam?"
A: "The spanner thing is a torque wrench. Mainly to tighten bolts or nuts to a certain poundage."
"What would this bag be for? Canvas cylindrical canvas with wood top and bottom and the opening is a wooden grate."
A: "It reminds me of a yarn tote. You put different skeins of yarn in it, and thread them through the top."
"What is this thing found at my friend’s house? Avocado for scale"
A: "Baby nasal aspirator"
"Parents have tried to have this identified/appraised for years. It is metal, about the size of a potato peeler, and stamped with “PAT MAY 8-23”."
A: "Looks like it might core and seed grapefruit
"Moved into a new house in BC, Canada, and found this very flexible/bendy plastic/rubbery thing in the cupboards. Smells of fresh laundry."
A: "I’m pretty sure it’s an air freshener. We use them in our office building"
"What is this thing that’s continuously beeping (about once per second) in my attic?"
A: "That is the back of a recessed light. It seems unlikely the beeping is coming from there."
"What is this pad used for? Found at many military installations. Parking lot nearby for size reference."
A: "Motorcycle training course."
"Strange device found among things left behind by tenant. Plastic lid screws onto rubber sack and contains… balls."
A: "You shoot metal balls with it Put one of the balls in the rubber and drag it- it’s intense be careful"
"Found outside a Medical Arts office building in Florida. I have seen pipes like this outside of buildings before but none this big."
A: "It‘s inline to a water main, the different pieces have different uses. The bottom with the large block-off plate is an access for maintenance. Up from that is a gate valve wheel, to shut off the main, up from that is a sampling unit, presumably for testing water purity at the main, the top is another type of block-off plate, it‘s needed because the pieces are all modular and capable of having more pieces/pipes bolted to both ends."
"We found this guy in our soup, looks like simple electronic device. Any idea what it might be?"
A: "It’s a piezoelectric element. They can be used as buzzers, speakers or microphones. Most likely, a buzzer."
"What is this? Found in a collection of gold and silver belonging to a deceased relative"
A: "It looks like a souvenir Inca tumi, a sacrificial knife. I friend brought me a a sliver charm like this after visiting Peru"
"This guy just walked up and down the meadow with this thing. What could this be?"
A: "Magnetometry or magnetic survey – not GPR"
"What is this blue plastic card used for? It is a bit flexible as well. Given to me as a parting gift from my Uber."
A: "It’s a phone stand. Curve it, and tuck the tab near the heel of your hand into one of the slots. The tab at the top near your fingertips should support the bottom of your phone."
"Found this metal object in Auckland, New Zealand. Banana, Hot Wheels car and fruit pie for scale! Metal (brass?) with screw thread at the bottom and coloured plastic rings around shaft, some opaque, some transparent. Found on the shoreline at the Ōtuataua Stonefields reserve, near the airport."
A: "I’m sure this is the handle to a machinists hammer. It’s the common item to make when learning how to turn on a lathe. I made one nearly identical when I first started."
“I found this in my grandparents’ old home. It was in an old jewelry box. Does anyone have any idea as to what this could be?”
A: “It looks like an old perfume atomizer.”
“I’ve had this around for a while. What is it?”
A: “It looks like a hair pin.”
"What’s this weird forky double headed thing?
A: "This claw-fork is used for cutting meat. You can hold meat from above with its help."
“What is this thin metal tool I found in the laundry?”
A: “It looks like a rake lock pick.”
“This came with a book. Anyone know what this is?”
A: “It’s a bamboo straw with a cleaning stick. I import and sell these.”
“I found this in a drawer at home. Now I’m scared to throw it away. What is this?”
A: “I have one exactly like this. It came with a trampoline as a tool to help tighten the springs.”
“My dad shows this thing to everyone who comes to the house to try and find out what it is.”
A: “That’s a coconut cutter.”
“A seagull dropped this beside me after I gave it some bread.”
A: "Some bird species (mostly crows) have been known to give gifts. You’ve just gotten gifted with an abalone shell from a seagull! How cool!"
“Any idea what this may be? Some kind of tongs?”
“Does anyone know what kind of tool this is or what it could be used for?”
A: “It’s a lid and jar opener.”
“Can anyone tell me what this is? It’s about 10 inches across.”
A: “It’s an antique telegraph switchboard.”
“What is this thing?”
A: “It’s a picture frame holder. I have this at my office, it’s probably 25 years old.”
“My grandfather left me this mysterious key. I have no clue what it would open.”
A: “It’s a key to a safe deposit box. Go to his bank and ask what he left for you.”
“I found this in my cabinet. My wife wouldn’t tell me what it is.”
A: " I guess it is a weight loss patch."