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20 TIMES PEOPLE ASKED, “WHAT IS THIS THING?” AND REDDIT ANSWERED

“Found this pin in the basement of a house built in the 1800s. Any info on this? I believe it’s connected to the Knights Templar/Freemasons.”

1

A: “Boston hosted the triennial conclave (think national convention) for some 20,000 Masons that year, so presumably a sort of delegate ribbon worn by someone from the Knights Templar lodge in Keene who went.”

 

“Little door next to big door. Every apartment has one.”

2

A: “Would’ve been for milk delivery. There would’ve been access from the inside as well; milkman places milk in from the hallway, resident can retrieve it without opening the main door.”

 

“No idea what this is, passed down in the family we’ve had it since the 1880s as it was owned by my grandmother’s grandmother.”

3

A: “It’s one of the character in the Chinese mythology, the Eight Immortals. This appears to be the first of the group, more well known as 铁拐李 鐵拐李, which translates to Iron Crutch Lee, instead of his real name.”

 

“My dad found this on the road, he picked it up so that no one ran it over, we have no idea what it is, its dull at the top, and gets a bit thinner towards the bottom.”

4

A: “Its a fence pole tip and/or those poles that block cars so they dont go on city squares have them”

 

“Heard a very odd sounding plane overhead just now. This is in the Midwest USA. Flying fairly low, but this is zoomed in quite a bit. What kind of plane is this?”

5

A: “That’s a Rutan Long-EZ. It’s a homebuilt (amateur/experimental) airplane that comes as a kit.”

 

“It is a chair looking thing. The white is cushion. It was on the curb and I thing it is to do the sex.”

6Woah, What’s That?!

A: “It is an Ikea Jesper bench. For playing video games.”

 

““Brass Bomb” or thats what the guy at the estate sale called it. Its heavy, metal body, and has 18 concave brass nobly things. No markings of any kind. Seems to be solid. Ideas?”

7

A: “It is just an objet de decor.”

 

“This thing is above my hospital bed… None of the nurses know what it is/is for”

8

A: “Battery powered emergency light. The red light shows it has power and the battery is charging. When the power fails that light comes on automatically to light your escape.”

 

“An old shield from my grandparents. About 30cm across. Has “Elkington” inscribed on the back.”

9

A: “Looks like Elkington & Co used to be an electroplate manufacturing company that made replica shields, among other things.”

 

“About 1.5 inches long soft metal pincher thing”

10

A: “I grew up on a strawberry farm, they are used for removing the stems from strawberries.”

 

“Small white balls that appear on the terrace after rain. Any idea?”

11

A: “There were some bean bag cushions that used to reside outside here.”

 

“Tiny glass cylinder with magnetic balls and dark liquid inside. Found magnet fishing in SE United States.”

12

A: “The rattle out of a fishing lure”

 

“Gas cooking hob – what is the spike next to the sparker?”

13

A: “It’s a flame detector”

 

“Glass cylinder with yellowish fluid containing a glass rod”

14

A: “It’s a giant sealed ampoule of a gas. My guess would be chlorine from the color.”

 

“Found some old Oriental silk garments of my great grandfathers.”

15

A: “Dressing in robes like these to play mah jong was quite in vogue in the 1920s-30s.”

 

“Massive intricate platter purchased by my grandfather in Saudi Arabia in the 60’s. 1 ft ruler for scale. Islamic calligraphy, scene depicting an old story maybe?”

16

A: “It’s a table. You’re missing the bottom. I’ve seen them sold as wall hanging often. I’ve got one. Mine doesn’t have a picture its covered in flowers. I’m sure they have a name but haven’t been able to find it. Search Turkish brass coffee table….. that’s the closest to finding a name I’ve come.”

 

“This thing at an escape room in central london amongst lots of old tech”

17

A: “This looks similar to a gyroscope my grandfather has. He says it’s from a navy torpedo.”

 

“Removing wallpaper revealed drywall that looks like it was screen printed. Is there a name for this type of ‘decorative’ drywall? House was built in 1950, Upstate New York.”

18

A: “I dont think such ‘decorative drywall’ exists and this could very well be old, thin, well-stuck wallpaper. Which could be result of many layers of wall paper over the years and the adhesives layering on the original wallpaper to create the look as if its not actually wallpaper.”

 

“What does this wall switch with circle dial and fuse do? Found in 1950s house.”

19

A: “I have something similar in my house built in the 1950’s and the dial would select the circuit and the button on the bottom would turn the circuit on and off. In my case it could comtrol 80% of the lights in my house. They took the wiring down from 110-120v to 24v and used tones of small wires. You probably have some relay boxes in a closet somewhere unless the house was rewired.”

 

“My contractor brings this with him into my house every day and I’m not sure what it is. It says “Uraguay” on the front”

20

A: “Yerbe Mate tea cup, they are all over in South America”

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