Share your favorites on Show & Tell

Identification, function and purpose?

In Tools and Hardware > Show & Tell and Kitchen > Show & Tell.
Tools and Hardware7140 of 9815Unknown Art Deco Coal ToolsBought this in Western Arkansas, sticker on bottom says 'from Vermont'
Love it
Like it

SEAN68SEAN68 loves this.
blunderbuss2blunderbuss2 loves this.
walksoftlywalksoftly loves this.
aghcollectaghcollect loves this.
See 2 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 10 years ago

    (4 items)

    Has anyone ever seen (or used!) anything like this? They are made out of bronze or brass, with about a 2" opening in the jaws. They do not lock, and the moveable arm is double pivoted, and not solidly coupled to the single jaw. Age unknown. Not sure if it is a specialty shop tool or a household item. Anyone know what its function is? Thanks!

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.

    Tools and Hardware
    See all
    17" Valley Pro AMERICAN HICKORY Woo...
    One Pair of RESTORED Antique Glass Crystal Door Knobs- Many Available!
    One Pair of RESTORED Antique Glass ...
    9pcs Keys BIG Large Antique Vintage old Brass Skeleton Lot for DIY Making Lock
    9pcs Keys BIG Large Antique Vintage...
    Boy Scout / Small Camp Axe Sheath Top Grain Leather USA Made!
    Boy Scout / Small Camp Axe Sheath T...
    17" Valley Pro AMERICAN HICKORY Woo...
    See all


    1. walksoftly walksoftly, 10 years ago
      I wonder if these might have been used in a lab.
    2. blunderbuss2 blunderbuss2, 10 years ago
      I feel another sleepless nite coming on! Maybe for horticulture for clamping & cutting? Is that a sharp cutter on the 3rd arm?
    3. GadgetInventor, 10 years ago
      @walksoftly: Hmm, that it might have a potential chemistry or medical lab use did cross my mind, but still no evidence of what that use is after hours of searching through google images.

      @blunderbuss2: Haha, me too! No, none of the edges are sharp or close enough to really cut.

      It's mystifying in the choice of material and the fact that it seems designed to not open wide like scissor tongs would. Also, the reason for the double pivot design defies me at this time. I expect that there has to be at least one person out there in the world who knows exactly what this thing was used for! It doesn't help not knowing the vintage either, though some assumptions could be made. Thanks for the replies and the love! :)
    4. walksoftly walksoftly, 10 years ago
      The only person that knew took the secret to his grave!
    5. rogerww, 10 years ago
      The fact that it's made out of brass tells me that it is used in an environment where iron or steel would rust, so it handles wet stuff.

    Want to post a comment?

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