Thursday, November 20, 2008

Set 259

For first time visitors I recommend this archive for some of my best posts.

1465. Submitted by a visitor who is looking to find out exactly what it's for, the arrow at the top can freely spin:

It was discovered over 60 years ago along with two pistols in the basement of an old Civil War era home that was being demolished near Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Larger image

The base measures 5" x 5" and it has a well made cover with dimensions of 4.25" x 4.25" x 6.375":

The pistols were wrapped in newspapers, lying on each side of the device. Text on the pistol below reads "A. Waters, Milbury, MS, 1839", these guns were used by both the North and South during the Civil War.

Larger image

The only markings on it are the directional letters N,S,E, & W:

Larger image

1466. 8" long:

Close-up image

1467. Approximately 10" long:

1468. 9" x 9", printed on cardboard:

1469. Sent in by a visitor who would like to know if this set is for a particular purpose:

Larger image

1470. 12" tall, take a look at Neatorama for more guesses on this device :


To submit photos, send them to the address in my profile.

Last week's set is seen below, click here to view the entire post.

More discussion and comments on these photos can be found at the newsgroup rec.puzzles.


  1. 1467-tray for slide projector
    1468-card hung on door to tell how much ice is to be left for the icebox
    1470-house jack

  2. 1465 - a real puzzler; this looks like a hand made one-of-a kind item, maybe somekind of surveying indicator? The adjustable length of the arrow indicator on top is really odd.

    1466 - very similar to eighteenth century single-cavity bullet mold, I would say this is a mold for lead fishing weights.

    1467 - some kind of tray for photographic slides?

    1469 - ceremonial or medical? This item may be ASIAN in origin as suggested by the fasteners for the case.

    1470 - Bottle jack; a type of screw jack; level houses, barns etc.

  3. 1465 - Could it be used to measure wind direction for artillery firing corrections?
    The nut on the arrow looks like it may be to adjust the balance of the arrow.

  4. 1468- My grandma told me about these when I was a kid. It's to put in the front window with the number indicating the number of pounds of ice desired to be delivered by the Ice man.

    Too easy... Ya should have blocked out the "ICE"!

    and 1470 is easy for me too, as there was one holding up one corner the (still very crooked) colonial house I used to live in... it's a house jack.

  5. 1465-Artillary Aimer,balistic
    1467-Reverb unit from electric organ?
    1469-Around here called a "Railroad Jack"

  6. 1469: looks like tools used for Japanese sumi-e painting

  7. or it could be specialty tools for a specific food, those look like chopsticks on the bottom part

  8. #259: Looks like a wind trajectory apparatus to record details during a 18th Century era dual. It would also inform the participants the direction they would take their ten steps and the floating arrow would determine the wind shear factor to help with accuracy when each would take their final aim and shot. Same idea as a modern days artillary and snipers use of a spotter.

    It would also be a practical spotting machine for snipers or cannon artillary during early wartime