Share your favorites on Show & Tell

who knows what this is

In Tools and Hardware > Show & Tell.
Tools and Hardware7508 of 9649Metrological standard measure for eggsWhat are these metal pitchers for?
Love it
Like it

geo26egeo26e loves this.
AzTomAzTom likes this.
catteanncatteann loves this.
tom61375tom61375 loves this.
vanskyock24vanskyock24 loves this.
blunderbuss2blunderbuss2 loves this.
officialfuelofficialfuel loves this.
trunkmantrunkman loves this.
AimathenaAimathena loves this.
fhrjr2fhrjr2 loves this.
walksoftlywalksoftly loves this.
See 9 more
Add to collection

    Please create an account, or Log in here

    If you don't have an account, create one here.

    Create a Show & TellReport as inappropriate

    Posted 9 years ago

    (1 item)

    Very strange old wooden piece. Trying to identify what it is.
    About 18" square bottom and about 18" tall.
    I would appreciated anyone's information or best guess on this old piece.

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

    Tools and Hardware
    See all
    17" Valley Pro AMERICAN HICKORY Woo...
    Cast Iron Door Plate With Acrylic/Glass Knob In Antique Turquoise/Teal Accent
    Cast Iron Door Plate With Acrylic/G...
    1x Vintage Octopus Door Knobs Handles
    1x Vintage Octopus Door Knobs Handl...
    Vintage Antique Solid Brass Bacchus Dionysus Greek God Of Wine Face Door Knocker
    Vintage Antique Solid Brass Bacchus...
    17" Valley Pro AMERICAN HICKORY Woo...
    See all


    1. gargoylecollector gargoylecollector, 9 years ago
      Looks like a hopper for a corn grinder.
    2. collectorrell1k, 9 years ago
      Anyone seen an old piece like this? What is it?
    3. collectorrell1k, 9 years ago
      Except there is a bottom on the piece. ???
    4. gargoylecollector gargoylecollector, 9 years ago
    5. collectorrell1k, 9 years ago
      PDAM...yes! it is a beautiful thing that, for the time being, will continue to be whatever anyone perceives it to be.
      Oh to know it's purpose though!
    6. hulalady56 hulalady56, 9 years ago
      Is there asolid bottom. Back in Hawaii a few of the old fishermen had fish viewing boxes that looked like that but it had glass on the bottom. They would lean over the side of the boat and look into the ocean to spot fish or anything else.
    7. collectorrell1k, 9 years ago
      Hulalady... yes, there is a solid wood bottom and not removeable.
      There are handles on both sides and it is pretty light. Don't know what else I can tell you about it that the picture does not explain.
    8. walksoftly walksoftly, 9 years ago
      Someone made it in shop class fifty years ago just to screw with people in the future! :-)
    9. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 9 years ago
      Yup that is spiritual. Nice wide bottom so it won't tip over. I never was much for religion so I will sit this one out and let the bible thumpers have a look. (that was my warped humor, don't take offense).
    10. walksoftly walksoftly, 9 years ago
      Seems like it was meant to carry something heavy with all those metal reinforcements. Are there metal straps in the handles?
    11. collectorrell1k, 9 years ago
      Yes, metal straps in the handles. Built to last awhile, that's for sure.
    12. walksoftly walksoftly, 9 years ago
      Do they go right through to the other side?
    13. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 9 years ago
      Have a peek at the joints on this. They are difficult to cut on a flat piece, this has more than one angle. They are commonly referred to as country joints. Those metal fasteners were added long after this was built. They weren't even invented when this was built.
    14. collectorrell1k, 9 years ago
      I'll check inside to see how the metal straps end.

      Interesting about the country joints. It would seem that the addition of these specific joints were for extra security to the box. But what on earth was carried/contained within?
    15. walksoftly walksoftly, 9 years ago
      The only reason that I can see for it to built in that shape would be to keep it from tipping over, it would keep the center of gravity low.
      Or see comment #9
    16. AzTom AzTom, 9 years ago
      Those compound joints are quite nice. The metal trim around the top would indicate abuse.

      I love and have NO idea what it is but, you could repurposed it into a Christmas tree stand.
    17. collectorrell1k, 9 years ago
      I looked closely and the handles are held on with what look like big, thick nails that are bent downward on the inside. The U-shaped metal brackets hold the handles for extra support and also are bent downward on the inside.
    18. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 9 years ago
      All those metal reinforcement pieces are called Skotch fasteners. Poor people couldn't afford new so they patched together what they had.
    19. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 9 years ago
      When I saw this, I immediately thought of a "fish viewer" as hulalady pointed out. Most modern ones have glass but even without it, the water seen inside is calm. Still see a few in use & been thinking about making one. Doe it look like it was once sealed to be water-proof?
    20. collectorrell1k, 9 years ago
      Does not look like is was ever a sealed piece. Not even close.
    21. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 9 years ago
      Ah collectorrell1k, you're no fun. You don't know when to lie or at least stretch the truth. I'm at a loss now & leaning toward fhrjr2 in #10 or walks in #9. Leaning more toward walks. Really thought it was a viewer so Italians could look at their navy.
    22. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 years ago
      Okay, here's my take on the piece. If it was mine I'd need another for what I'm thinking the possible usage might be. Older canvas tents used by the military ranging from 100-150 years ago had a large flap opening that could be used as an awning, These would hold the poles to that flap, filled with dirt or sand, with no need of support lashings. Just a thought, but as a story teller's view, that's mine
    23. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 9 years ago
      It's late, I'm tired & sleepy. I vote for #9, #10 & # 23.
    24. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 years ago
      Okay another , but sound theroy on function and practicality on this item. It's been proven over the years, thing have a tendency to last longer in a pyramid, but sadly the lid is missing, but used to store apples or pears in the root cellar, antique "Green Bags" Sorry for the humor on this as it probably had a real function when made, but as to what, only the person who made it would know. Sure it was never a production item and truth be told, It was someones idea to make their life simpler on one of their cores or duties assigned to them.
    25. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 9 years ago
      That was a real mouthful kerry to basically say, I have no idea. LOL!
    26. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 years ago
      Yep Lucas, been practicing to become a politician next election :-)
    27. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 9 years ago
      You will certainly do well!
    28. walksoftly walksoftly, 9 years ago
      He even got the environmental vote for his "Green initiative" :-)
    29. walksoftly walksoftly, 9 years ago
      @collectorrell1k where did you find this? N A, S A, Europe, Australia, mountainous area, prairie, coastal? What are the local industries?
    30. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 9 years ago
      OK curling fans, I think I've got it. I kept thinking it was familiar but couldn't place it. It's (30 sec. commercial) a form for sand casting. Some objects are odd shaped like bells & take special forms. Well, that's my story & I keeping to it!
    31. collectorrell1k, 9 years ago
      A form that doesn't come apart? Probably not.
      Found in a garage sale in SoCal. Owner of house had many primitives in the antique dept.
    32. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 9 years ago
      As it is tapered, it doesn't have to come a part but be lifted off.
    33. Hunter Hunter, 9 years ago
      FYI folk, people are weighing in on Facebook:
    34. walksoftly walksoftly, 9 years ago
      I think we can exclude the facebook group except for collectorrell1k's friend who tried to steer them straight.
    35. kerry10456 kerry10456, 9 years ago
      Lots of ideas, seem my first notions has some support, lol.
    36. ttomtucker ttomtucker, 9 years ago
      Looks like a early mold for making foundation blocks
    37. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 9 years ago
      Those facebook folks are pretty neat. They must be old farmers.
    38. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 9 years ago
      Was it a form? Goodness the shellac on the inside held up better than the outside if it was. I think it was Blunder who said pick it up, I see grab the handle and drag it out from under.
    39. Wendling Wendling, 9 years ago
      If I had it,The bottom would be removed,and I would use it for a pier block form,just trying to be funny.
    40. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 9 years ago
      If there are no holes for line-up dowels on the edges, we can eliminate it being a sand casting mold. Maybe a bum'ble clot holder?
    41. walksoftly walksoftly, 9 years ago
      Okay a few observations,
      1; repeat of my earlier comment "The only reason that I can see for it to built in that shape would be to keep it from tipping over, it would keep the center of gravity low."
      2; Even though the wood used isn't very thick, it's built as if it should be able to carry a heavy load. The only reason to use joints like that is to make sure it doesn't come apart. The handles are very robust, stronger than the wood that they are attached to. I don't think the metal reinforcements on the corners were added later as a patch, they are all cut the same & placed evenly. Also note that they are not nailed on, the pointed end is crimped into the wood.
      3; To me this container was built to ensure the safe handling of the contents.
      4; The only thing that I can think of that would demand this kind of safety is the handling of liquid Nitroglycerin. Nitroglycerin is a very unstable product, so much so that it had to be manufactured on site by a chemist. So wherever blasting needed done the chemist put the nitro in glass bottles. It was then placed in a second container & buried in a bed of sand or diatomaceous earth. It was then transferred to the rock face to be placed in the holes that had been drilled. Any mishandling of the nitro whether being dropped or shaken would be the death of anyone in the vicinity. The handling of nitro & the blasting was usually left to the Chinese laborers.
      I have been unable to find an example of a nitro box just references to them.
      That's my theory & I'm sticking to it.
    42. andyman andyman, 9 years ago
      Perhaps it was "re purposed" way back in the 1800s.
      That's why nobody knows what it is.
      It used to be a ________? then it was a___?now it is a _____________ or an
      unfinished backyard invention?
      I like the casting mold idea.It looks a bit rough like something used in construction environment for concrete?
      It was made to be picked up by 2 people with strong handles on each side?
    43. tom61375, 9 years ago
      I have no idea, but I know I want one! =) Love it!
    44. AzTom AzTom, 9 years ago
      Okay, I found one of these also. Is there handle on the other side ans does it go vertical instead of horizontal?
    45. rick3335, 9 years ago
      Is there a bottom in it ? If not, I think it's a concrete form to set wooden posts on in and around a barn, to prevent premature rotting out of support posts. ???
    46. TubeAmp TubeAmp, 9 years ago

      Collectorrell1k I hope this helps!

      T A

    Want to post a comment?

    Create an account or login in order to post a comment.