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Mystery Scissors

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Kitchen5912 of 7735Vintage Kelvinator refrigerator A lovely bone Cork screw Grotesque
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    Posted 10 years ago

    (3 items)

    I found these 8.5" long scissors in an old New England barn recently and had to buy them so I could figure out their purpose. I have looked over every square inch of the scissor to find a marking that might aid in identification, but sadly the manufacturer has left me no clue (Arrgh, I hate when they do that!).
    My best guess is that they are confectioner's, pastry or pasta chef scissors. My only other idea would be a Beekeepers scissors for cutting honeycomb for sale as a treat [As a boy, I used to buy small boxed honeycomb at the local fair. The comb was full of honey and just about the same size as these scissors would produce, and it made a great all-natural treat].
    And, I'm sure if I gave these to a chef or beekeeper, they could probably find a way to make use of them. However, I'd love to know what the inventor had in mind when going through the trouble of designing them.
    I believe that the detail and ornateness of the 2-piece "cage" attached to the left of the blades, and the fineness of the screws used to attach the "cage" and perpendicular blades, are both evidence that these were not the work of a tinkerer/inventer in a small workshop, but instead speak more to a mass produced scissor for common household/trade task.
    I tested the scissors on a piece of paper to see if both the main scissor and the perpendicular pair at the end would cut a rectangular piece out of the sheet. When held near the bottom left corner of a sheet of paper, the main scissor cut 4" into the sheet, and then the perpendicular scissors cut 1.75" toward the left edge of the sheet, producing a 4" x 1.75" rectangular piece of paper which then dropped through the rectangular "cage" of the scissors to the countertop.
    When I first observed these scissors, I thought the decorative "cage" on these scissors was designed to catch whatever was cut. However, when the scissors are held properly, with the thumb hole up and finger hole down, the "cage" has a top and no bottom. Therefore, it became obvious that the "cage" was not a means of collecting cutoffs, but rather a means of orienting scissor with the material for consistent cutoff shape/size, and also a means for forcing the material evenly downward in the direction of the blades during the cutting process. The top perpendicular blade at the end of the scissor is a single blade much like the top blade it is attached to. However, its cutting action is accomplished when it slides between two parallel blades attached perpendicularly and at the end of the bottom blade. My guess is that this is necessary to prevent the material from merely folding at the end as opposed to shearing, and is evidence perhaps that the material to be cut is soft/flexible/pliable as opposed to rigid.
    That being said, I would be greatful if fellow members would be willing to post link(s) to information or images that would help me to definitively identify these scissors and their purpose.

    Unsolved Mystery

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    1. epson233 epson233, 10 years ago
      hey medimarket -- welcome on board -- i still think they're candle wick cutters anyway that's my story and i'm stickin to it
    2. medimarketeer, 10 years ago
      Thanks for making me aware of collectorsweekly epson233. I've had 8 people "love" these scissors, but none have commented with anything to solve the mystery. Someone has to be up to the challenge, no?
    3. jojomang jojomang, 10 years ago
      @mediamarketeer, we posted your scissors on facebook, and have gotten quite a few responses. check out the thread here:
    4. Pencil-necked-geek Pencil-necked-geek, 10 years ago
      They are obviously designed for cutting Sponge Bob's square pants. ;^)
    5. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      What I love is a mystery!
      Mind you these have been on an eBay discussion board since October 10.
      Here on CW there's been some great ideas in just two days.
      Some of our regulars are sure to come up with the approprite name and function for this device.
    6. Hunter Hunter, 10 years ago
      my latest thought is a two-part function: the bottom cage holds some softer substance in shape (cake? fudge?) while the scissor portion cuts and compresses a second layer on top (have no idea what you would cut onto food besides sheets of sugar, which require a different type of tool). I am 99.9% certain they are NOT wick cutters, which include a small metal box on one blade to catch the used wick portion, or sugar sheet cutters, whose two dull blades meet head on, more like pincers...
    7. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      It would capture something in the cage that is meant not to drop on the surrounding surfaces.
      It must be something very delicate, but of no great length or width .... roughly defined by the shape of the cage.
      It would certainly not be capable of capturing or snaring the wick of a candle, not with those holes!
    8. Hunter Hunter, 10 years ago
      Agreed, vetraio. The strange detail is that the cage is only on the one side, which makes it seem they pressed a material downwards, rather than held a material up / prevented it from falling...and yet, the blades are also only on two edges, meaning the shears probably weren't designed to cut a rectangle shape - merely to create a 90 degree and on one edge. Curiouser and curiouser :)
    9. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Editing? Film?
      I've got a pair of scissors in my hand now.
      They are right handed.
      They cut something horizontally across and capture it in the basket.
    10. vetraio50 vetraio50, 10 years ago
      Found in a barn? Perhaps there's a clue there!
    11. Hunter Hunter, 10 years ago
      Animal fur!?
    12. Bernadette Bernadette, 10 years ago
      they could be wick trimming scissors maybe if the cage ever had something in the sides, like glass? mother of pearl? is there any sign that the cage has had any type of lining?
    13. medimarketeer, 10 years ago
      No evidence that the cage had a lining.
    14. epson233 epson233, 10 years ago
      i agree -- that barn maybe a clue -- what else was in the barn -- what type of farming or ranching might have been done -- was it located near water
    15. medimarketeer, 10 years ago
      Wow, thanks for all the creative ideas and humor! I've read each, as well as those posted at facebook, and have yet to find a definitive answer from someone who is familiar with these scissors, or a link to a similar pair on the web. The mystery continues..............
    16. Bernadette Bernadette, 10 years ago
      the other idea I like (that others have suggested) is a press of some type. For wax maybe? A decorative block of sealing wax?
    17. medimarketeer, 10 years ago
      This case of the mystery pair of scissors is still unsolved. If you recognize these scissors and can definitively identify their purpose I'd still love to know.

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