Mystery Objects with CLUES.

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April 13, 2018 by kittynh

The “History Mystery Objects” display at the Cheshire County Historical Society is officially non mysterious.  Answers are on display for those curious to know “Was my guess correct?”

These photographs will give clues to the answers if you want to continue to play along.

How do you grade an egg?

It should be ANGEL FOOD CAKE.  But you can still purchase these new.  This one cost all of $1.00.

This hat looks ready for Las Vegas.  When your hat did not fit, this device helped the owner keep the hat in shape. Hats were often made of natural materials that could possibly shrink.  Wool was a material that if wet, could go down a size.

The meatballs in the can are not the size of the meatballs that could be made with this device.  No more hand rolling, this scoop could feed a large family with this large meatball maker.

This is a device still sold to solve an age old problem, how to open a nut shell.  It only does LARGE nuts. It is great fun and an example of the ingenuity of the individual. This appears hand made and sold at small tourist gift shops.

This item is a shoe last, to make shoes for very small children.  That is a small size baby shoe.  My only concern is that there are no nail holes on this item.  Perhaps the shoes were glued, or this was only for shaping a high top style shoe.

These two Weller items were part of craze for unusual planters.  The optical illusion of the “Duck, rabbit, penguin” planter is delightful.  However, the shape makes it a bad planter.  The rabbit shape makes it impossible to water, and the duck also has watering issues.  It was made less for plants, and more for the illusion.  Yes, it was advertised as having a penguin shape when seen head on.

The best guess for this is a water container for a bird cage.  Online, this appears to be the answer.  The problem with google is that often a wrong answer can be reported and everyone else passes on that wrong answer.  Practical use of this item proves it almost impossible to fill with water.  One suggestion is that this at one time held ink.  Ink was not always sold in bottles where the bottle could be refilled.  The top would be opened, and the pen dipped.  The shop were I found this was filled with these, and also filled with old school materials.  Is it for a bird cage?  Or is it for something with a one time use?

This item is a local Keene item.  This might have been an advertising give away.  The item has two lids.  In the middle are the small holes. Directions show you would place your jewelry inside, and gently flip the item.  There is very fine sawdust still inside, and it was dry your jewelry without harming it.  The sawdust is very soft and gentle.  I could use one of these myself!

Today flower frogs are used for holding pens and pencils.  But at one time flower frogs were used for “doing the flowers”.  Most florists today use florist foam.  The lady of the house doesn’t do the flowers daily. But a flower frog was a necessity at one time.  Collectors are very fond of flower frogs as they were made in a variety of shapes and styles and are still very affordable to purchase.

I bought this for $5 in Swanzey New Hampshire.  This was a souvenir that would have been purchased after watching a performance by this famous magician/escape artist. No one correctly guessed the identity of the bust.  At one time, he had one of the best known faces in the world.  I will admit that I feel the magician picked a very flattering bust.  Still it is easy to imagine someone bringing home this bust, thrilled by seeing an escape or show by this man.  Perhaps the owner had just come from New York City where he had seen this man make an Elephant disappear at the Hippodrome!

This object is a sort of voting device.  Marbles, usually black and white, were placed in the open end.  There is a handle on the back so that the item could be held out to members voting.  They never handled the device.  All it took was ONE BLACK MARBLE, and the vote was NO.  The first President Bush was black balled during his college days.  Many of these items had a bell inside to let people know they had voted, and only once.

You can try it for yourself at the Cheshire County Historical Society, though sadly with just clear and dark blue marbles.

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