Thursday, June 2, 2011

Set 391

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

2257. Around 5-1/2" long, take a look at Neatorama for more guesses on this one and a chance to win a T-shirt:

2258. 3" long, sent in by a visitor who is looking to identify this item:

Larger image

Larger image

2259. Around 12" tall:

2260. Another unidentified item that was sent in by a visitor, it's heavy and made of porcelain:

2261. 3/4" diameter:

2262. These tools are all related:

Larger image


2257. These are sharpshooter's glasses from the Civil War, the frosted glass eliminated distractions to help them concentrate and the amber color heightened contrast for better vision. They were worn by the most accurate shooters who were used as snipers and were assigned positions surrounding the battlefields.

2258. The most popular suggestion for this is that it's some type of mold, other guesses include: a connector for two rods or pipes, a cad welding fixture, and a bearing or watch press.

Larger image

2259. This is the floating hourglass science puzzle, when it's inverted, one of the hourglasses rises and the other sinks but neither moves at all for at least 12 to 15 seconds, the puzzle is to figure out why there is a delay in movement. There is a good video of it at the link. Answer below

There is a delay because of friction against the side of the tube, the hourglasses are top heavy and tilt slightly until some of the sand falls to the bottom.

2260. This is a baren used for block printing. When you have inked the printing block and put the paper over it, the baren is used to apply pressure to make the ink evenly transfer to the paper.

2261. A Victorian picture nail cover:

2262. Some of these devices were used to service the Hubble Telescope on mission STS-125:
At far right is the pistol grip tool. It can install and remove instruments, drive latches and open doors. A self-contained, high-torque drive, the tool features an on-board computer that permits users to tailor its performance to the mission demands. In the foreground are the card extraction and insertion tools to enable removal of electronic cards. At top center is the plastic version of the pistol grip tool used by astronauts during practice in the water tank at NASA's Johnson Space Center. At center left is the bit caddy.

There are lots of great photos of this mission at the link.

Larger image


I own a lot of different tool books but the one that I use first as a reference is the Dictionary of American Hand Tools: A Pictorial Synopsis (Schiffer Book for Collectors) It has over 4,500 images and is a great book for learning about about a wide variety of tools. This book gets my highest recommendation.

I've decided to become an Amazon affiliate to help pay for the costs of finding and purchasing items to post here. Please consider purchasing books through my links if you are interested in them, there is no additional cost for the buyer and a small percentage will be paid to my account.

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. 2259. This is typically called a Newton's Gravity Sand Timer. The hour glasses move through the liquid as the sand runs between sides. I don't think Sir Isaac worked with buoyancy, so it must be another Newton that invented this.

    - Edward

  2. 2262: Pretty sure that they're for use in orbit. At a guess the Capital "E" shaped one an attachable handle for large itmes. the blue box in the foreground is for precisely aligning two objects (via x and y knobs) and there are two drivers in the background

  3. 2257. Old shooting glasses.

    2261. A rosette for a horse bridle. it looks like the loop on the back is missing.

  4. 2261 Decorative porcelain cap from a Victorian picture hanging nail. Made to slip onto the nail head after driving it.

  5. 2260 looks like it was for pressing garments to get the shape.


  6. 2258 is a cad welding fixture of some sort it appears.

    2260 is a surface stone for polishing a granite surface plate. it is charged with lapping compound and the high spots are slowly leveled out with these.

  7. 2262

    I think for splicing cables, maybe fiber optic?

  8. 2259. Brain-teaser novelty item. When the whole assembly is flipped over, one hourglass remains at the bottom of its bath for a little while until a certain amount of its sand has fallen, then slowly creeps up to the top; the other remains at the top of its bath for a little while and then slides slowly down. It's a brain-teaser because the weight and volume of the hourglasses never change, yet their buoyancies seem to change. The secret is that the two hourglasses are made in such a way that one hourglass always sinks while the other always floats; but when the assembly is upended, both hourglasses, being suddenly topheavy, tumble off-vertical and rub against the sides of the tubes. The friction is enough to keep the floater down and the sinker up, until enough sand falls in either one so that they gradually right themselves, slowly alleviating the friction.


  9. 2262: So is the multicolored manifold thing on the left for the lanyards that attach to the other tools? White and black for the drivers, two blue for the blue whatsit's so what are the other colors for? Or would those be for the astronauts them selves? Or for attachment to the station?

  10. Therefore may be the various colored a lot more point about the remaining for that lanyards which affix to another resources? Whitened as well as dark for that motorists, 2 azure for that azure whatsit's therefore do you know the additional colours with regard to? Or even might individuals end up being for that astronauts themselves? Or even with regard to connection towards the train station?

    fifa ultimate team coins
    lol elo boosting
    fifa coins