“Strange device found among things left behind by a tenant. The plastic lid screws onto the rubber sack and contains... balls.”
The answer: "It’s an analog of an ordinary slingshot. You shoot metal balls with it. Put one of the balls in the rubber sack and pull it back."
“Found this in a cupboard at an old farm and have no clue what it could be.”
The answer: "It is an old device for making mayonnaise."
“Some kind of a metal cage with clamping action by pulling the handle.”
The answer: "It’s a foot-operated potato planter."
“Received as a gift from my father-in-law but I have no idea what it is used for.”
The answer: “I’m interested to know the context of receiving this gift. Because historically it was used to keep patients mouths open during surgery to prevent suffocation.”
“Found this while cleaning out my grandad’s garage, some sort of mechanism with moving metal parts inside.”
The answer: "It’s music-on-hold for a home telephone. The phone was put on top of it to keep the caller entertained if the speaker had to put the call on hold for a while during a conversation."
“Found it on the street, is filled with little metal balls.”
The answer: "That is a counterweight for an old adjustable height chandelier/ceiling lamp."
“Just suddenly found it in my house one day. It’s metal, and relatively flexible, but I feel at one point it would break.”
The answer: "It’s “boning” from a corset."
“The part above the handle rotates...”
The answer: "It’s a kite spindle. I used to have one. It seems like a reproduction of what they used to use from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s."
“They’re about 2 feet in height, holes go through and to the base, made of clay I think.”
The answer: "Looks like a chimney pot (top of chimney). Probably removed when demolishing a house or upgrading the fireplace. If they’re attached to something underground, then they might be on top of a vent."
“What is this oval metal tool? Found it in a box of sewing and craft supplies.”
The answer: "It’s a handle for carrying books. The holes on the side would have 2 straps, which passed through the holes on each end and wrapped the book stack."
“Found this in the crawl space of a home. No engraving to give us any hints as to exactly what it is, what it’s used for, and how old it may be.”
The answer: "It’s a gas heater (circa the 1930s-50s). You’re seeing the side (gas valve) and the back (flue opening — covered)".
“What is this wooden and metal vintage thing?”
The answer: "It is a snooker cue tipper. The cue is placed into the open end to straighten and shape the tip and the file is inserted into the open horizontal slot to make the tip perpendicular. Kinda like a pencil sharpener for a snooker cue."
“What’s this clip thing? I’ve found it on a lot of vintage jewelry I bought online.”
The answer: "It’s a dress clip. Often worn in pairs and usually clipped on around the neck of a dress, blouse, or coat. Made so as to not make a hole in the cloth, as a brooch would do."
“What is the use of this fourth piece of cutlery I’ve seen in a German museum?”
The answer: "It’s a baby food pusher, quite common in the 1800s — early 1900s."
“I found this room in an abandoned building. Can anyone tell me what this building may have been for and what these things hanging from the ceiling are?”
The answer: "It’s a miners’ changing room. The hooks and baskets lift their work clothes up and out of the way of the next shift."
“It had a partial label on it and a pic of a ski jumper. Does anyone have a clue?”
“Found in an old barn: the lid inside holds a mirror, the bag appears to be burlap inside and a different material on the outside, is blue inside and has no smell.”
The answer: "It’s a lady’s reticule (a tiny handbag popular in the 19th-early 20th century)."
“Found it in the attic of a house I recently purchased. It is approximately 11.5” x 5″, the little flappy arms fold completely down forward or backward."
The answer: "It’s a folding tie rack."
“Round, steel, rotating ball on a tripod with multiple lens/light holes, purchased at auction in 1988. The purchaser did not know what it was either.”
The answer: "It’s an operating room light with some missing pieces."