Thursday, July 19, 2007

1037. Kriss Kross razor blade stropper: turning the handle rotates the leather disk, and after every two revolutions the blade holder raises up, flips over, and then lowers back down to hone the other side of the blade. Patent number 1,468,923.

1038. This tool was kept in a trolly car and was used to pick up live trolley wires, patent number 700,002

One side reads: "Mf'd by Electric Service Supplies Co.
Philadelphia, Pa., Chicago, Ill., Keokuk, Iowa, USA."
On the other side: "The G.- D. Trolley Pick-Up, Patented May 13th 1902". Thanks to Bill for submitting this photo.

1039. Hops pole carrier: the hops plant is a vine and to help them grow they put a large number of 15 foot poles in the ground and ran wires across the top; the holes on the end of this tool are for straps, which would then go around the neck and shoulders of the worker and allow him to carry the pole.

1040. The Atwood Sphere is made of sheet metal and has 692 small holes, spectators sit in the pull-car and ride into the sphere, where they can see the constellations while it slowly rotates about its circumference.

It can be seen at the Adler Planetarium in Chicago, where I also photographed the sundials, orrery, and armillary spheres; they have a great collection of scientific instruments.

1041. Live bird trap: trap shooting got its name from these devices, the box held a bird that was released by pulling the pin which released the spring loaded doors. Photographed at the Trap Hall of Fame. Many states in the U.S. banned live pigeon shoots in the late 1800's, but it was still legal in a couple states into the 1990's. It's currently legal in Pennsylvania but the shoots are heavily picketed by animal rights groups and are the subjects of many lawsuits.

Larger image

A shot of it with the doors open:

1042. The most popular guess on this is that it's a shingling hatchet, it has a European style and probably dates to the early or mid 19th century. The incremental marks are possibly for measuring the amount of overlap. Though others think it might be a plaster's hammer, I haven't been able to find any exactly like it to confirm either of these guesses.

From John Sindelar's collection

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.