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Mystery Beam - mid-late 1700's

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    Posted 5 years ago

    (1 item)

    Bought an old colonial on the North Shore (MA) originally built in 1746. This beam was found in the walls at some point during renovations and hung just for decoration/display. No one I've talked to knows what it is. It's roughly 10 feet long with holes equally-spaced along its length. A hand grip is in the center. Made from two ~1 inch thick pieces of wood sistered together.

    Any ideas?

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    1. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 5 years ago
      What is the measurement center to center of the round holes? This isn't a beam or even a timber.
    2. cej6675, 5 years ago
      Hi there,

      I haven't measured exactly, but I'd say there is ~ 1 foot between the holes and they seem to be consistent. I've had people guess that it was used for measurements during construction, for carrying items to/from the house, etc. Would love any other guesses, though!
    3. fhrjr2 fhrjr2, 5 years ago
      Well I can understand it being in a wall in a house that old. But it isn't as old as the house. I suspect what you have is an electricians story pole for laying out where to drill the holes for knob and tube wiring. A story pole kept the holes in a straight line so running the wire joist to joist was neat and much easier pulling the old cloth wires. If the original joists and knob and tube holes are still there after your restoration check the spacing to verify.
    4. Celiene Celiene, 5 years ago
      fhrjr2 - I think you are totally right. I thought of my grandmother's attic as soon as I saw it. And her exposed knob & tube wiring.
    5. cej6675, 5 years ago
      Thanks fhrjr2 and Celiene!

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