Disc shaped brass time keeping mechanism.
A: Night Watchman’s clock.
What is this dumpster looking thing on this roof? It’s been there for a while so I don’t think it is a dumpster.
A: It is an old solar system for heating either air or water (not for generating electric power). In the 1980s, there were lots of tax credits for adding solar things, and one way to get a fat credit for not much effort was a solar air or water heater, such as this. They sucked, for the most part, and usually didn’t last long, but the credits returned more than the cost of the crappy system. I’ve seen a few in my neighborhood, but they’ve mostly been removed.
What are these ropes at the bottom of some trees.
A: Looks to be so that the construction going on there doesn’t accidentally damage the trunks. And that concrete doesn’t get splashed onto them, either.
1950s house has these planks that pull out of the bedroom wardrobe. Any ideas what they’re for?
A: Supports for a sewing table. The sewing machine was mounted so the foot was even with the tabletop. The pullout bars supported the tabletop. The tabletop could also be used as a desk.
A brush with more brushes instead of bristles!
A: It multi-headed brush for painting parallel lines.
What is this diminutive silver table service utensil?
A: It’s a bon bon spoon.
What is the purpose of this kitchen sink? And what is it called?
A: Old style multi-purpose sink, used to be common in Norway.
Little dirt tower that has appeared over the past few days next to my bed. I noticed a tiny dirt pile a few days ago, and over a few days has constructed itself into a perfect 5-6 inch delicate little dirt tower. In Kenya if that helps.
A: As you know, there are different kinds of termites in East Africa. Some grow fungus and harvest it, some eat wood, some eat wet wood, grass and leaves that are decaying, and among all those, some grow enormous towers up to 15 feet high. Some are subterranean. What you have here is a little tower where a wood-eating colony is starting to eat your home.
What is this growing on the lid of this urn of ashes? It’s been picked off previously a few months ago and it has grown back in the original area and another.
A: Mineral efflorescence. Efflorescence is when salts leach out of brick, concrete, concrete block, stucco, and in some cases even stone or (apparently) cremation urns.
What is the purpose of the soft green circular part in the base of this small display stand?
A: This is a cup and saucer stand.
What are these things? They are small, cylindrical shaped, wrapped in a little paper coating and they’re made out of what seems cotton.
A: Rolled cigarette filters
Old cannonball (maybe?) found in KY years ago. looks like it has a copper coating. roughly 5.5in diameter and weighs 23lbs. Trying to figure out if its case or solid shot to determine if it is potentially dangerous to keep. The weight makes me think its solid.
A: This seems to be on the money for a civil war 24-pounder howitzer
The metal parts are button type things and were found in a bin full of other random things
A: It’s bondage.
This yellowish rubbery tube-like thing hanging outside the front and back doors on a real estate listing for a house in Portland, OR.
A: It’s a light made by a designer.
Have often noticed this circular disc mounted on an arm that sticks out of the jet bridge and leans against aircraft body. What is it?
A: It’s the auto leveler.
Clear back moving truck with door leading into the back
A: It’s advertising, when we did one they set up some sand inside and a little beach inside basically. Then just drive around and it definitely catches eyes. I don’t think they have real people riding in the back of it tho.
What Is Growing On My Old Play-Doh?!
A: Salt! They’re little salt formations. When the play-doh dries out, the salt in it can rise to the surface and form these little “growths”. It’s nothing harmful.
What on Earth is this thing? Seems like it’s intended to serve something. Thought of a Turkish coffee thingy but it’s too small.
A: It is a single serve Turkish cofee “finjan.”
This came with a bike. It’s not on the instructions or parts list. I have absolutely no idea that this could possibly be. It has a diameter of about 2 inches
A: It’s a spoke wrench, for adjusting the tension of your wheel spokes. The numbers correspond to the spoke sizes.
Small rubber and metal object found in a “fancy” bottle opener box.
A: It looks like a replacement cork/bottle stopper. To close the bottle after it has been opened.
This is machined from one piece of steel. The cuts go all the way through so that it rings like a tuning fork. It is 6 inches tall and 6 inches in diameter. It looks like something a machinist would use with a lathe, but it wasn’t found with anything that gives a clue.
A: This is a workholding collet, generally used in a lathe but can also be used on a milling machine with an appropriate collet holding system. This collet looks like it was machined from an emergency collet to hold a specific part.
Metallic, about 80-100 years old. Size of a baby carrot. Some moving pieces. All metal.
A: Bloodletting tool called a fleam.
What is this thing on the side of the garbage can.
A: That’s not a bin, it’s a waste paper collector for a shredder. Have a look at the top, it’s designed to slide into place. Usually the other smaller bit is hung inside the paper collector under the bag, and it usually holds a brush and lubricant for the mechanism.