|History Mystery ANSWERS
Exhibit 1 d
Though it says GS it has nothing to do with the famous
Light Opera creators. It is not a walking stick for a
VERY little old man, nor a Bush christener (see the Banjo
Paterson poem) but a cattle brand.
Exhibit 2 c
Though it DOES look a bit like a perfume aotomiser, a fly
spray hand pump,
and possibly a teapot, but it is in fact a blow torch.
Exhibit 3 b
This is a mouli grater, not a record player or CD
player, not a line winder, and certainly not a knitting
Exhibit 4 a
The first sound records were cylinders about this size,
but this is not one of them. It can't be a telescope,
because there is no hole to look through. It is a kind of
slide rule, and we can show you full instructions.
Exhibit 5 c
These tiny pins were not for making clothes or shoes or
holes in paper, but for playing records. One was
installed in the record player for each record - the
"needle" wore out in one go! Later there were
diamond needles, which lasted much longer!
Exhibit 6 d
This was for sending slow SMSs! When the lever was down,
electrical contact was made and a beep would sound.
Telegraph workers became expert at sending morse dots and
dashes efficiently with a machine like this!
Exhibit 7 d
You have seen the modern toy called a viewmaster, with
stereo pictures to view? This is one of the first of
Exhibit 8 b
Notice there is a thing like a crayon and another thing
with a gemstone handle and an initial imprinted in
reverse on a flat part? The handle sometimes comes off
the letter (sorry). This was what was used to seal
letters before prestick and lick-stick envelopes were
made. People melted some wax off the "crayon,"
dropped it on the envelope flap, and pressed their symbol
on the warm wax. No-one could secretly break the seal and
restore it unless they had the same press symbol.
This is an old spring scale, that could be carried around
to weigh things quickly, eg the farmer might weigh out a
portion of oats in a sack for each of his work horses to
eat, or a bag of fruit could be weighed at market.
The frog is the delicate part of the horse's hoof, and if
a stone lodged between the shoe and the frog, the horse
would go lame. A tool like this was useful to dislodge
the stone so the horse was not in pain any more.
Exhibit 11 a
Every kitchen had a meat mincer like this in the days
when meat was home-grown. It was clamped to the sturdy
kitchen table and the tough parts of the meat were fed
through and made into sausages or hamburgers. It does
have a slight resemblance to a inch for winding ropes, a
vise for a workbench, or a Hills Hoist handle, though.
Exhibit 12 d
It IS second-hand, but could never have been an oven
mitt, and there are no bionics in it to make a bionic
hand. It was used to straighten gloves after washing, as
irons were nearly useless, and they needed to be smooth
to go on smoothly.
Exhibit 13 a
More recent history, though most school children today
have never seen one
- it is an early floppy disc for a computer, now
superseded by CD ROMs and DVD ROMs and hard discs for
storing data and programs on.
At first glance it looks like a horse shoe - but which
horse ever had a hoof this shape? It is in fact the shoe
of a bullock.
Exhibit 15 c
No, it's not a spirograph drawing tool, and certainly not
a vase or egg cup or peeler or even a spring. It is a
simple yet very effective candle holder.
Exhibit 16 d
Not for stirring, scraping or brushing, just for
noise-making! This was given to mothers of new babies in
the 1950s with a little advertising on it and
instructions to use it to attract baby's attention or to
signal a coming feed. Maybe an older child could shake
the toy while mother shook the bottle?