2 3 4 5 6
pheller
pheller UltimaDork
10/18/19 12:16 p.m.

They don't appear to be marlinspikes either, as one in particular looks almost decorative. 

pheller
pheller UltimaDork
10/18/19 12:32 p.m.

I'm thinking they are used for something involve thread, twine, rope, or another fiber. Maybe for some sort of weaving? Where you stick it in something, then use the ball/knobs to wind something else. Maybe for hair, in creating some sort of special braid? 

 

Thing is, when I search for "tuning tools" or "weaving tools" or "braiding tools" nothing anywhere close to this design shows up. Even in pictures where someone has laid all that possible tools you might use for those functions. 

 

The fact that one of them is made out of plastic or glass makes me think this is definitely not something that gets a lot of work. Not a belaying pin or marlinspike. Something that is decorative or for use in light duty, maybe for some sort of art?

frenchyd
frenchyd UberDork
10/18/19 1:28 p.m.
pheller said:

They don't appear to be marlinspikes either, as one in particular looks almost decorative. 

Sailors use  Fids for decorative rope work. It makes sense to me that something used repeatedly would be more elaborate than was strictly required. But often something like the balls would required to contain the knot or rope work. 
 

You should see some of their work.  It goes so much beyond a skill that it transcends art.  I served on  two WW 2  Essex class carriers carriers. the Ticonderoga and Bennington.   Keel was laid in 1943-44 for those and they  were in service until  the 1970's  that's 30 years or so for sailors to show off their skill .  

Duke
Duke MegaDork
10/18/19 1:37 p.m.

I was thinking they were for spinning or weaving as well, but didn't have any luck.  DW is interested in a number of fiber arts like that and she didn't come up with anything either.

 

ebelements
ebelements New Reader
10/18/19 2:35 p.m.

I think my google-fu is pretty strong, but this is ruining me. I tried a number of reverse image searches to no avail.

Theory: whoever brought those to the librarian MADE THEM.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UberDork
10/18/19 2:48 p.m.

I was thinking something for sail making or maritime stuff as well.

AngryCorvair
AngryCorvair MegaDork
10/18/19 2:53 p.m.
ebelements said:

I think my google-fu is pretty strong, but this is ruining me. I tried a number of reverse image searches to no avail.

Theory: whoever brought those to the librarian MADE THEM.

LOL most thorough patent search ever!

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
10/18/19 3:02 p.m.

These things are gonna go down in history with the Voynich manuscript and the Roman dodecahedrons laughInterestingly, those famously mysterious things are both most likely art pieces with no real purpose, but just look like they could have a purpose.

(I still think these spikes are most likely some kind of weaving tools, maybe leatherworking tools)

Ransom
Ransom UltimaDork
10/18/19 3:16 p.m.

No progress, but more googling for spinning/weaving/textile tools now I know what a niddynoddy is. But these aren't those. It's conceivable that they're distaffs, or distaves, or... plural distaffery of some kind, made for keeping fibers set to be spun organized (if I haven't gotten tangled up in my searching). That doesn't explain the knobs, but since I don't know how they're really used, it might be some other approach to the same tool.

FuzzWuzzy
FuzzWuzzy Reader
10/18/19 3:25 p.m.

The knobs on the acrylic and top left ones look removable and/or adjustable and the one where the knobs and wooden piece are further down made me think they're antique measuring stakes or something, but nothing comes up that comes even close to matching it.

These have to be made by someone as a one-off to do nothing.

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
10/20/19 7:34 p.m.

I've posted them on the book of faces to try and get some more eyes on them. This is aggravating me.

 

T.J.
T.J. MegaDork
10/20/19 7:37 p.m.

Sometimes at night when I wake up and can’t get back to sleep I wonder about these. I hope the mystery eventually gets solved. 

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
10/20/19 7:38 p.m.
pheller said:

Did you post to Reddit's "whatisthis" sub? 

I'm pretty sure it came from there. 

SVreX
SVreX MegaDork
10/20/19 8:00 p.m.
SVreX said:

I’m starting to think it is a very clever internet ruse.

I made this comment 10 months ago. I stand by it. 

EastCoastMojo
EastCoastMojo Mod Squad
10/20/19 10:11 p.m.

Wouldn't it be funny if they were something like a child's toy, a wobbly spinning widget perhaps that you get going by placing between your palm and fingertips, slide one hand forward and let go. If it spins on the pointy end the weights (knobs) seem too high up,  but maybe the other end is down? I also think of these things from time to time, often late at night when I should be asleep. cheeky

Appleseed
Appleseed MegaDork
10/20/19 11:28 p.m.

The ONE thing we don't know.

Brett_Murphy
Brett_Murphy UltimaDork
10/21/19 10:40 a.m.
(not) WilD (Matt)
(not) WilD (Matt) Dork
10/21/19 10:53 a.m.
Brett_Murphy said:

The Reddit thread for them

 

 

I like the geisha style hair pin theory.

Knurled.
Knurled. MegaDork
10/21/19 11:06 a.m.

The curious thing is that they all have a notch, or cut channel, close to the knobs.

 

I wonder if whatever they were used for involved a string wrapped around them to spin them, and the knobs are not handles but just masses to give added inertia.

Ransom
Ransom UltimaDork
10/21/19 11:12 a.m.
(not) WilD (Matt) said:
Brett_Murphy said:

The Reddit thread for them

 

 

I like the geisha style hair pin theory.

Me too, excepting the one in the lower right which clearly seems to be made to slip into a socket at the end. That throws some serious doubt on that theory for me. I tried to fix it by imagining interchangeable decorative ends, but it just doesn't seem right. That makes me lean toward the notion of an accessory for a spinning wheel or loom or something...

(not) WilD (Matt)
(not) WilD (Matt) Dork
10/21/19 12:02 p.m.
Ransom said:

Me too, excepting the one in the lower right which clearly seems to be made to slip into a socket at the end. That throws some serious doubt on that theory for me. I tried to fix it by imagining interchangeable decorative ends, but it just doesn't seem right. That makes me lean toward the notion of an accessory for a spinning wheel or loom or something...

I still think that one could have had a decorative end piece.  We don't have a good sense of scale on these, but they could be smaller than they seem, and many hair pins have rather large head piece ornaments made from other materials and incorporate elements like tassels.  Doing a Google search for "geisha hair pins"  and variations on that subbing in Japanese or wooden finds some similar looking items, but nothing exact.

RXBeetle
RXBeetle Reader
10/21/19 12:28 p.m.

Seed dibber is the closest tool resemblance that I can come up with. That doesn't explain the offset knobs, lack of wear, or acrylic one. 

llysgennad
llysgennad Reader
10/21/19 12:49 p.m.

The mythical vertical intercluder from my youth! I never could find one in the garage when dad sent me after it.

Or perhaps the equally elusive horizontal habstabber.

RevRico
RevRico PowerDork
10/21/19 12:52 p.m.

It's clearly an adjustment tool for a flux capacitor. Also can be ued to adjust the flow on a Mr Fusion, hence the knobby bits.

Type Q
Type Q SuperDork
10/21/19 4:40 p.m.

I am wondering if this is someones attempt at Dada.

2 3 4 5 6
Birthdays
Our Preferred Partners
vfYCSCD1Ugq5Q8FbFbepkXT6K6IJCbAhMVhErxCGWnx7Hkw0RNiOTic22II3YYaL