1. What is the hollow part of this for? Never seen anything like it before. Cat for size reference. A: A telephone table with storage space for the phone book.

2. Found in a house I moved into. The chain has two corks attached on either end. A: It is for wine. Ice goes in the little side container to keep it cold. A household staple of the 70s.

3. Found this buried in my front yard years ago A: It’s called a push dagger or push knife. That style generally comes in a black plastic sheath with a chain to be worn around the neck.

4. Found in the attic of an old country house in Czech ia. Top part is an open container that rolls on the round sticks under it. Bottom is likely just a stand with storage (has little doors from the other side) A: It’s called a mangle, possibly mangel. Used to press linens, sheets, tablecloths.

5. Leather Square? Found this in my house when I moved in. Feels like there is something hard inside. A: It’s an old paperweight

6. Metal triangles on power lines along 491 in rural NM A: They keep them stable when it’s windy to try and stop the lines from swinging into each other.

7. Mechanical cog keyring? – If you spin the disc on the back, the triangle will rotate. I’ve always thought it was part of something once due to the strange shape and notch on the side. Any ideas? A: It’s a model of a rotary (wankel) engine.

8. 30 ft tall, located in a fenced off area near the low point of my town. Not near a fire station, unsure if it works A: If you are in a tornado area this is an old looking tornado warning siren. If you are near an airbase I would say air raid warning siren. If you are in tornado alley and near and airbase then it’s both.

9. Removed a wall plate and found this mirrored contraption fitting in some sort of electrical junction box. Any idea what it is? A: It’s an old alarm motion sensor. Break the beam, set off the alarm. Look at the perpendicular wall for its other half. Could just be a small mirror or reflector as well on the other wall to bounce the beam back.

10. Being moved into a TVA facility on a trailer that has 100 wheels but is not attached to a truck, seems to be controlled by an operator with a remote control of some sort. Moved very slow, took about an hour to move about 500 feet and did not seem able to turn corners. Had a State Trooper escort. A: That’s a power transformer. I build these for work.

11. Metal ‘tray’, in the side wall of an elevator. About 35×40 cm. (12×13-ish inches) the floor buttons are on the same wall, but at the other side. A: That’s a “gastronorm tray” used in commercial kitchens. I suspect the lift company needed a cheap cover when they removed a panel and this just happened to fit!

12. What is this metal circle on my bag? Why is it there? A: It’s to pass wired earbuds/headphones through so you can keep whatever device you’re listening to inside the bag. It should be connected to a bigger pocket in the bag.

13. I found this on the beach in Delaware it looks like fossilized honeycomb? A: It’s Honeycomb coral.

14. What is this thing that sparked like hell when I tried to clean it? A: This is definitely a fuse holder. Most older stoves have a whole line of them (8+), usually under a hinged lid. I’m guessing if there is only one it is for the appliance plug. Cleaning with wet steel wool is a bad idea.

15. I found this while metal detecting a 1930s home in Colorado. A: That is a valve from a old style fuel pump. They push into the pump body. They were common on cars of the 50’s through 70’s. Mesh in the valve is to strain particles from the fuel.

16. A big riveted iron pipe/smokestack (?) in a 19th century Pennsylvania cemetery A: It looks like it could be a “standpipe”. They were used in municipal water systems from before the 1870’s through the early 20th century to provide a pressure head to maintain water pressure in the system. They were eventually replaced by water towers that could provide pressure as well as volume. The riveted construction would be consistent because in the 1870’s boiler companies that made riveted boilers got into the standpipe business.

17. I smelt a foul smell coming from our wall, when we opened it up we found this. We don’t know what it is. Any idea? A: A mold guy came and says it’s not mold, it’s years and years of rodent, rabbit, bat, some sort of animal waste.

18. American living in Poland. What are these signs with pic of cloud, bridge, and temps telling us? A: Air temp, road temp

19. Found above a cooler in a liquor store. Guy behind the counter said it used to flash when the front door opened A: It is a security alarm system.

20. What is the circled thing on power pole? Found in rural Michigan. A: this is a wifi/radio transmitter for wireless electric and water meters. have one in my neighborhood and asked the same question here about a year ago.. 🙂

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