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Neat Old Gadget

YardSaleDave's items6 of 6Dated 1878 PulleysLady's Flip Ring
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    Posted 13 years ago

    (6 items)

    I have had this gadget for a few years and have not been able to ID it's use. It has a wind up clock mechanism inside and when the button is pushed it vibrates rapidly. The black end piece has a hole through it and looks like hard rubber or early plastic, like bakealite. The only marking is G.I.Emman co. Any ideas on it's purpose?

    Unsolved Mystery

    Help us close this case. Add your knowledge below.


    1. ste5e, 13 years ago
      Whatever it is, I like it. Pocket paint stirrer?
    2. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      Thanks for the input, I'm thinking more in the lines of some kind of medical apparatus. Anyone else care to venture a guess???
    3. Savoychina1 Savoychina1, 13 years ago
      What occurs to an old fashion, hand held, "joy buzzer". Wind it up an place the black knob between your fingers. Then, when you shake hands with the unsuspecting mark, ZZZZZZZZ !
    4. dozerdan, 13 years ago
      [quote]What occurs to an old fashion, hand held, "joy buzzer".
      im not trying to be naughty but im thinking it might be an "adult joy buzzer"

      [quote] Wind it up an place the black knob between your fingers.
      i dont think the tip goes between your fingers.

      like i said before, not trying to be offensive but thats what im thinking it is.
      im also thinking that i'd wash my hand after handling it. does it have a patent number?
    5. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      Thanks dozerdan, the vibrator idea has occurred to me and I google searched antique vibrators with 0 results. Under the black nipple is a piece of felt, that could have been used to add some kind of medication, I'm thinking along the lines of nasal respirator. No patent #.
      Thanks for the help.
    6. areliczone areliczone, 13 years ago
      There is such a thing as a vibrating pacifier.
    7. ste5e, 13 years ago
      Perhaps the key to this is the shape of the black 'nipple' shapped, rubber end with the hole. What would this fit into? I thought of the handshake 'buzzer', but it doesn't seem quite right for that. I'd also go along the lines of a medical gadget.

      Personal f/X and TIYH cable TV shows of about 10 years ago, had 'whatzits' on the weekly show; they were quite popular and entertaining.
    8. Steve G., 13 years ago
      Hi, does it have a hole in the end of the nipple part? If so, perhaps it is a pneumatic camera release. A rubber hose would fit over the nipple piece with the other hose end attached to the pneumatic shutter release found on most old lenses. Wind up the clockwork, set the other dial to whatever delay and presto.
      Have you opened the device to find out what is inside? Perhaps some kind of rubber ball affair that is activated by the action of the clockwork.
    9. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      Thanks Steve,
      The clock works inside has a small/tiny hammer the beats against a piece of leather near the black end piece. It looks like it's only function is to make a vibrating sound transmitted through the end. It's an antique vibrator of some sort.
    10. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      Still no positive ID on this. Any Help out there ?????
    11. jsw14 jsw14, 13 years ago
      Hmmmmm, If U can't find a answer to what it is, put it under your pillow at night & it will wake U up in the morrning!!! LOL I have no clue Dave.......
    12. Steve G., 13 years ago
      OK, if it's not photographic, try talking to a medical history buff and ask if it is related to a hearing test.
      For example, wind it up, stick the nipple end in your ear, press the button and presto. "Did you hear that?"
      Clutching at straws now.
    13. ste5e, 13 years ago
      As Steve G. suggests, for the ear. Ear wax remover? It vibrates the canal and loosens ear wax?
    14. Steve G., 13 years ago
      If it's not too much trouble, are you able to post an image or two that display the interior workings or layout?
    15. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      Thanks for your interest Steve. I have added a couple of shots of the inside, in the fourth photo you can see the little trip hammer that beats on a piece of hardboard.
    16. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      Added a couple more photo's. Still hoping for an ID.
    17. etl, 13 years ago
      Looks like an old pocket watch with few pieces missing. One knob is used as a watch winding key, another one to adjust the arms of the watch (in case they are moving too slow / fast). Just an idea...
    18. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      I want to bring this back up for discussion. Still no positive ID
    19. jsw14 jsw14, 13 years ago
      Wild, wild guess Dave... OK, it has a nipple on the vibrating end. IMO, It was made for the purpose of babys cutin teeth when cry'in ..... Mom would wind it up, WaaaaLaaa instant releaf.....Baby quits cry'in...........Hay, I told ya it's a Wild guess!........
    20. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      Jsw14, I don't think you are that far off, I just can't seem to find anything close to confirm it.
    21. jsw14 jsw14, 13 years ago
      I hear ya Dave... next time u go to the doctor, take it with u... Ask him! Thats what u pay for anyway........
    22. Trenchartman Trenchartman, 13 years ago
      I am going to take a stab at it. It just came to me from thinking about an old friend. You said it vibrates rapidly when the button is pushed. Picture this an early voice box. This would be an easily hand held device that could be held to the neck to stimulate the vocal cord of a person who has damaged vocal cords. I bet you have seen someone who has an electronic voice box that vibrates when they push a button in their throat. Or the hand held type device that works the same way when pushed against their throat.
      If you do find out what it is I would like to know.

    23. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      Thanks Trenchart, any possible leads are appreciated. I showed it to my doctor the other day, and he is thinking maybe some kind of ear testing devise. Still nothing towards a positive ID, the mystery continues.
    24. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      Thanks for looking AR. yes you do have to hold the button to operate it and it takes about 45 seconds to wind down. So, what do you think, anything come to mind?
    25. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      The opposite side of the key wind is flat, nothing missing. It's the nipple part that is intriguing to me, looks like some kind of medical use, ear,nose, whatever. I'm thinking that maybe a cotton swab went between the vibrating pan and the nipple to hold some kind of medication. Just guessing.
    26. Dizzydave Dizzydave, 13 years ago
      Would it be something that would take air bubble out of a container? Place it on top, vibrate and air bubbles rise to the top? Dave
    27. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      Thanks Dd, sounds like another possibility that I need to search.
    28. Savoychina1 Savoychina1, 13 years ago
      This, at least vaguely, resembles your gadget...wadda ya think?
    29. Bootson Bootson, 13 years ago
      Could it be a miniature movie camera, vintage spy camera?
    30. YardSaleDave, 13 years ago
      Looks like Savoy nailed this one with an old ad he found for a personal vibrator.
      Thank you.
    31. dozerdan, 13 years ago
      im thinking this is what you have.

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