JS-Kit/Echo comments for article at http://smallestminority.blogspot.com/2008/10/wth-is-this.html (41 comments)

  Tentative mapping of comments to original article, corrections solicited.

jsid-1224873787-598163  Jim at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 18:43:07 +0000


jsid-1224876211-598171  Oldsmboblogger at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 19:23:31 +0000

It's a Tryggvassen Lutefisk Aerator Model Three. You can tell it's a Model Three instead of a Two-B by the triangular handle.

jsid-1224876613-598172  Chris at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 19:30:13 +0000

It is a fire starter. The container gets filled with kerosene or lamp oil, and the ceramic end of the dipper thingy soaks in it. Then you just light the dipper thingy and use it to start your fireplace.

jsid-1224877296-598174  Kevin Baker at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 19:41:36 +0000

Except the "ceramic" end of the dipper thingy is wood, not ceramic.


jsid-1224877307-598175  Sailorcurt at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 19:41:47 +0000

Looks like an ash or coal bucket and shovel to me.

I don't know why the shovel would be flat like that. The funny lip on the tip may mean that it doubled as a damper or vent tool.

If my dad were still around, he'd be able to ID it in an instant. He'd probably be able to tell you within a few dollars what it's worth too. That was his gift. Served him well when he ran his antique shop.

jsid-1224878240-598177  DJ at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 19:57:20 +0000

Ah cain't stood it. It's funny story time again.

About 20 years ago, the elderly grandmother of a good friend died. A garage sale was held to sell of some of the odds and ends around her house. One such item was two pieces of wood, carefully cut, shaped, and held together by a screw through a mortise and tenon joint. No one had any idea what it was, so they put a price of five bucks on it.

During the sale, a man picked it up, looked it over, and came up to their sales table with a five dollar bill in hand. As he was walking way, my friend asked, "By the way. What is that thing?"

He answered, "Hell if I know."

So, I don't know what your widget it, but I think it's worth five bucks.

jsid-1224878336-598178  DJ at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 19:58:56 +0000

I forgot to ask. How big is it? What are the dimensions of the various parts? A ruler in the photos would be helpful. I have an idea, but whether or not it makes any sense depends on what size it is.

jsid-1224878840-598180  Sam at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 20:07:20 +0000

A old-time toilet plunger?

jsid-1224879151-598182  alanstorm at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 20:12:31 +0000

It's a device designed to be sold in thrift stores.

Wasn't that helpful?

jsid-1224879967-598183  anon at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 20:26:07 +0000

Old timey baby seal club?

jsid-1224880131-598184  Oldsmboblogger at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 20:28:51 +0000

Half-court shot here--could it be a small butter churn? I've seen old-timey butter molds with the fish in relief on them. The lid probably fit better when new.

jsid-1224883279-598187  OrangeNeckInNY at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 21:21:19 +0000

Well, let's see, it got a wood ball on the end there, so it can't be used for anything to do with fire, unless that ball was replaceable. The bottom end of the wood ball is darkened and worn, giving indication that that was the business end for the task. The handle was made for pushing, so that business end was meant for pushing something through. Or the handle was meant to be held with the ball towards the ground while walking and the ball was meant to fit into something along the ground. This item is an accessory to something else that was a dirty job, hence the covered container.

Does the ball rotate around the spindle?

Could it be a sausage making accessory that pushes meat into the grinder?

jsid-1224884488-598189  GR at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 21:41:28 +0000

Just a SWAG, but it kinda looks like a honey pot.

jsid-1224885538-598192  Sailorcurt at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 21:58:58 +0000

oops. My perspective was skewed, the "ball" looked flat to me in the picture. Now that you mentioned that it is a "ball", I can see it.

In which case...I have no freaking idea what it is.

jsid-1224886166-598193  scott at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 22:09:26 +0000

I like the honey pot idea. The wooden thing looks like some of the old pictures that i've seen of them.

jsid-1224886457-598194  DJ at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 22:14:17 +0000

It's a honey jar with a honey dripper, which is container to store honey for use at table or in cooking and a tool for transferring the honey from the jar to wherever it is needed.

To use it, one simply opens the lid and removes the dripper, which will be accompanied by a big glob of honey. The dripper can be held over a cup of, for example, coffee or hot tea, until enough honey has been deposited thereto.

You can buy such jars and drippers today; see here or here.

jsid-1224887088-598195  Chris at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 22:24:48 +0000

I'm still sticking with fire starter, although the wooden ball would certainly wear out pretty quickly and need replacement. It just doesn't look like a honey pot, and if it is, it is huge. See http://www.lehmans.com/jump.jsp?itemType=PRODUCT&itemID=2586

for a modern soapstone version of a fire pot.

jsid-1224888238-598196  vanderleun at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 22:43:58 +0000

Early Andrew Sullivan Sex Toy.

jsid-1224888288-598197  vanderleun at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 22:44:48 +0000

OrangeNeck asks, "Does the ball rotate around the spindle?"

No. Andrew does.

jsid-1224892477-598198  wastrel at Fri, 24 Oct 2008 23:54:37 +0000

I think the fish on the front of it is a clue. It's a fishing accessory. After you get a fish into your boat in a net, you club the fish senseless with the wooden club so it's not flopping around. And the container is there so you always have something to bail water out of the bottom of your boat with.

jsid-1224894087-598200  jimmycrackcorn at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 00:21:27 +0000

cheap reproduction of a firestarter

we had a real firestarter, so i knows what deys looklike

jsid-1224897988-598203  chris at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 01:26:28 +0000

if it were a fire starter... soaking it in kerosene would prevent any damage to the wood...

so long as you put it out before the kerosene burned off it would work fine.

jsid-1224902341-598209  Jim at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 02:39:01 +0000

It is a BOHICA.

Watch for it come Nov. 5th, and beyond.

Galveston, TX

jsid-1224906338-598212  Scott at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 03:45:38 +0000

Your wife might have found an awesome early American example of crap designed to resemble something from the old days and sold to city slickers.

Crikey, it's probably from China.

jsid-1224908131-598213  Peter at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 04:15:31 +0000

I have no idea, but it did remind me of an old joke about the difference between fish and meat:

When you beat your fish, it dies.

jsid-1224916232-598219  Jared McLaughlin at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 06:30:32 +0000

Uh. Flue cleaner.

jsid-1224919557-598221  Daniel Newby at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 07:25:57 +0000

It's a mathom.

jsid-1224931301-598225  Mike at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 10:41:41 +0000

Oy, my brain hurts.

jsid-1224936082-598227  Doom at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 12:01:22 +0000

The white on the wood sort of makes me think of salt, when it comes to wood and how salt and water combine (taste it?). And, the fish on the bin certainly brings a fishmonger to mind. I almost wonder if it isn't a tool used to break fish, salted then iced out at sea, out of the freeze. Salt, used to make raw meats last longer, would also initially melt that ice put in with the fish... but at some point that would fail and the meat (fish) would freeze solid. Why wood? It would not freeze (like metal, nor would it corrode, and it would be cheaper and easier to replace than metal), only get harder, in such situations.

Ok, I am honestly ignorant and just reaching out with theory. You got me. But, I am dying to know, so I offer up my thoughts to see if it might not help you figure it out!!! Hurry, I am a big baby.

jsid-1224939830-598229  geekWithA.45 at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 13:03:50 +0000

It is clearly an insidious artifact of the Left designed to appear harmless and enticing so as to infiltrate it's way into ordinary American households.

When you feel it peering at you in the darkness of the night, boring into your mind, whispering poison in your ear, you will know that my words are true.


;) :)

jsid-1224941073-598230  Blackwing1 at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 13:24:33 +0000

Maybe it's a thingy used in conjunction with glass-blowing...fill the container with water, and use the wooden roller with the molten glass on the end of the blowing tube.

When it gets too hot and the wood starts to char, dip it back into the water to cool it off again.

"Thingy" is a technical term, by the way.

jsid-1224953340-598237  Kevin Baker at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 16:49:00 +0000

OK, we've concluded that it's a fire starter. That would explain why there are ashes in the container. My guess is that the original pumice-stone or unglazed ceramic ball was replaced at some point with a wooden one.


jsid-1224962842-598247  DJ at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 19:27:22 +0000

I call foul, Kevin. You never said until your comment above that there were ashes in the container.

Get the facts! And then give 'em to us so we can think with 'em.

jsid-1224964530-598249  Kevin Baker at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 19:55:30 +0000

Hell, DJ, for all we knew somebody used the thing as an ashtray. It wasn't until the idea of a fire starter was floated that ashes in the container made sense.

jsid-1224969401-598258  Chris at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 21:16:41 +0000

Well, thanks. I wish you hadn't blown me off so quick but I'll be seeing you in the camps in about a year or so and I hope we can still chum around together.

jsid-1224971137-598259  Kevin Baker at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 21:45:37 +0000

Yeah, well, I'm big enough to admit that I was wrong. I won't be visiting the camps, though. I'll be on daisy-pushing duty, most probably.

jsid-1224974783-598262  Chris at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 22:46:23 +0000

Hard to push the daisys up when the .gov leaves you laying on a field, on top of the daisys. I appreciate your honor of course, as always.

jsid-1224975246-598263  DirtCrashr at Sat, 25 Oct 2008 22:54:06 +0000

Who's ashes are in the container? A capitalist pig!
See you in the cane fields...

jsid-1225028137-598291  DJ at Sun, 26 Oct 2008 13:35:37 +0000

"Hell, DJ, for all we knew somebody used the thing as an ashtray. It wasn't until the idea of a fire starter was floated that ashes in the container made sense."

I point no finger of shame, Kevin. Having all the facts and reasoning from them is how we make sense of things. Such is what we (well, almost) all preach, and this is a clear example why we do so.

jsid-1225205000-598353  Scott at Tue, 28 Oct 2008 14:43:20 +0000

So...anyone want to venture a guess on why a fish is stamped on the front of a firestarter?

jsid-1225294923-598403  Mikee at Wed, 29 Oct 2008 15:42:03 +0000

If the hole in the end is big enough to stuff in a charcoal briquette, the thing is a bedwarmer. It would be filled with hot embers from the wood or coal fired sstove in the kitchen, and moved about between the matress and blankets to warm up the bed before hopping between the otherwise very cold sheets. This would be from the era before central heating, or from the era when the coal furnace in the basement was allowed to burn down to a few embers overnight as an economy measure.

That the container has a fish on it is incidental. One does not want to leave a bedwarmer sitting on the carpet, right? So a fireproof container was used. Probably a former coal carrier, use to bring coal from basement to kitchen.

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