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Sunday, August 17, 2014

Guess the Gadget: Rust is the New Chrome

See if you can guess what this before you get to the 4th image -Hint: Found in a Garage, but Belongs in a House.
About a month ago I was in a garage/barn sale and enjoying the fact that I was the first one there. I wrote about it here. One of the many prized items I found was somewhat of a mystery.
It was a small box with an odd hinge or axle, three rivets and no markings. While most pickers are looking for what they collect, or what they can sell, I'm one of the few looking for an unknown item.
After some pushing and coaxing I finally got it to budge a little.
 Whatever it was, it had not been opened or used in a very long time. An even coating of rust didn't make it any less desirable to me. The contents looked like long caliber bullet casings.
Make that 2 telescoping bullet casings. I began to think that this was a set of portable rabbit ears for a TV.
 It should start to become apparent what this gadget is meat to be. If you think it might have been devised for some kind of torture, well you wouldn't be the first to make that guess.

Unfortunately the title of the video gives it away immediately, but I'm guessing you had this figured out several images ago.

This folding clothes hanger actually does have a name and patent date stamped on it "Midget January 7th 1913." I usually don't go by patent dates to indicate the manufacture date, but at least I can say it's no older that that.

If you want to see one of these in a more pristine state, there's a pair for sale here on etsy.

I suppose it could be dangerous only picking up things when I don't know what they are. There must be a fable by Aesop that speaks to that danger...


  1. I have one! Belonged to my long deceased father. Also rusty, but the inner arms are still in good shape. Thanks for letting me know what it is. I couldn't figure it out, and often wondered if I would ever know!!

  2. TV antenna (Rabbit ears)

    1. That was my first thought when I finally figured out how to open it up.

  3. A cosmic ether transducer to fortify one's bodily humors and general vim

  4. Don't forget - Vigor Too! I wish that's what this was for - I could use it.


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