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History buffs, what is this object/device?

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posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 08:34 PM
While I was doing some research in the basement of a local museum, a guest stopped by to bring the curator a chest of items she found in the attic of an old home recently purchased by a family member. As I was on another floor, I did not participate in the discussion with the person who brought in the items. After this guest left, the curator came to the basement and told me that the items delivered to her consisted of some vintage clothing (dating of the clothes was not disclosed and I did not see them for myself) and a mystery object that she handed to me to see if I could identify. I have no clue what this is and neither does the curator.

I have attached some photos that she kindly permitted me to hastily take of it. I know that you will have many questions about it, but frankly, all I know about it is what I gathered from handling it. I don't know the age of the home it was found in; other objects that may have been in the attic for some kind of context for its use or age...sorry.

I have annotated the photos to the best of my ability to further describe what I saw.

The first impression the curator and I mutually got was that of a shuttle used on a loom, but many aspects of this object are just not consistent with that purpose.

Thanks in advance to any members who might know what this is.

posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 08:40 PM
It is a shuttle.
Used for weaving.

posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 08:44 PM
reply to post by GoneGrey

It looks like it is supposed to resemble a piece of military ordinance. Since it is made entirely out of wood, I might guess that it is some type of training aid.

It could also possibly be some type of floatation device?


The size of it is throwing me off of the ordinance training aid idea, just a weird size.

After Googleizing some images, I think Butcherguy might be right.
edit on 2-3-2013 by watchitburn because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 08:53 PM
reply to post by butcherguy

Then what is the purpose for the peg projecting from the dome at one end? This would 'snag' on anything it came in contact with.

The other issues we had with this explanation is that the slats popped off very easily when it was handled. Other examples of pictures of shuttles that we looked at were all symmetrical and identical at both ends. There is no evidence that it has ever been, or even can be, dismantled in any manner that would allow a spool to be inserted on the dowels.

I have not seen any depiction of a shuttle that looks like this.

If you are sure that this is what it is, can you offer more in the way of an explanation for the removable slats and for the projecting peg? What about the four grooves at the smaller end?
edit on 2-3-2013 by GoneGrey because: for spelling

posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 08:56 PM

Originally posted by butcherguy
It is a shuttle.
Used for weaving.


Oh.. a shuttle.. for weaving. weaving the earths atmosphere!

Good thing it's made of wood then. oO

Jumping Jehoshaphat, you're correct!

never heard of such a thing. You don't see such things at target when buying a cheap shirt from taiwan.

posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 09:00 PM
reply to post by GoneGrey

A have to agree with you. I've seen an antique loom in action and there's no way that thing would work as a shuttle.

posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 09:51 PM
Does it look like it was ever exposed to water?

The reason I'm asking is because it looks as if it was filled with something in those two different chambers through the metal grommets and maybe a cork placed in those holes,then maybe immersed in water.
Then afterwards,the removable wooden slats allowed for easy cleaning/removal of the material inside.

Just throwing that out there.

posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 10:03 PM
I'm just putting my 2 cents but maybe it's for repairing fishing nets ? It's made of wood so it will float if dropped overboard ?

posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 10:18 PM
I have contacted Clive Cussler to see if he knows what this object is..

He's pretty cool guy, let's see what he says..

we chat back and guy..

posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 10:26 PM
reply to post by watchitburn

It looks like it is supposed to resemble a piece of military ordinance. Since it is made entirely out of wood, I might guess that it is some type of training aid.

My take too. Training for war often meant using replicas in place of the real thing.

If this closely matches some Japanese or American artillery shell it might be useful to practice handing off artillery rounds when a gun crew is operating. Some shells were loaded in the bore and followed by a "charge". It might have been some old soldiers personal aid. Or captured when invading Japanese held Islands in the Pacific during WWII? Wonder what the diameter measures in millimeters?

Heres one version. Not similar, just wooden training aids. These are US...

edit on 2-3-2013 by intrptr because: image

posted on Mar, 2 2013 @ 10:43 PM
reply to post by intrptr

Yeah, kind of what I was thinking. I have seen some really old Arty rounds that had wooden casings.

posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 06:14 AM
My thoughts on what we do see in its construction:
-It has a spindle in the center, as do shuttles.
-It has tapered ends, like shuttles.
-It has a hole in the side with a metal ferrule, for the cord or thread to exit the shuttle.

As to the existence of a peg, who is to say that the peg was exposed when the piece was new? It is obvious that slats are missing, why not something else?

The longitudinal grooves? I do not know their purpose. For all we know, they may have held strips of metal to make it easier to go through the warp.

Regarding the theory that may be a practice artillery shell:
-What purpose does the spindle inside serve?
-What are the grooves for?

It could be a 'one off' proof of concept piece that some former weaver was tinkering with. It is not polished, a shuttle made for use would be made of very hard wood and polished.
edit on 3-3-2013 by butcherguy because: (no reason given)

posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 07:41 AM
reply to post by kdog1982

I considered this from the standpoint that immersion in water would cause the pegs to swell, thereby holding the slats more firmly in place. If the slats also became swollen, they would also fit against one another more tightly creating a chamber that could be capable of holding a liquid.

Where I struggle with the immersion theory is that I would think that there would be warping or cracking arising from wet/dry cycles. It is free from these kinds of defects. Also, if a liquid was involved, it could only be water since the only discolouration I see is on the small pointed end. It appears slightly darker than the rest as if caused, perhaps, by skin oils or dirt of someone handling it primarily from that end.

Thanks for the suggestion. Throwing out these kinds of ideas may hold the key to figuring out a purpose for this.

posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 07:55 AM
Another detail that I neglected to mention involves the grommeted holes.

Within the longer middle chamber, two other slats (and possibly more, due to the missing ones) had small holes bored at exactly the same distance from the end as the grommeted one. These holes looked slightly smaller in diameter and exhibited no signs of smoothing or wear as if a cord had been drawn through them repeatedly.

I don't recall if there were additional holes like this in the slats of the shorter chamber. I'm thinking not. What I do know is that there was one slat with a grommet in each chamber, and the 2 ungrommeted (and possibly more) in the long chamber.

Because the slats are removable, does the relative location of the holes matter? If there was a total of 4 (1 grommeted + 3 ungrommeted), were they intended to line up with the 4 grooves in the one end piece?

My brainstorming is limited by my sense that the following features are deliberate, and therefore serve a distinct purpose:

1. The protruding peg at one end.
2. The four grooves at the other end.
3. The removability of the slats.
4. The additional holes in some of the slats.
5. The difference in shape and size of the end pieces.

posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 02:26 PM
I'm still looking from input from you clever ATSrs.

Even if you don't know exactly what it is, some fresh brainstorming ideas might hold the key.

posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 02:56 PM
reply to post by GoneGrey
I've restored and repaired a lot of old stuff in my time, my sister owns an antique mall.

One thing I've noticed is the lack of wear, which could indicate it was not used in such a way that it was hand-held or was in contact with moving parts.
Also the grooves at the pointy end could indicate that it "nested" into something that had corresponding 'fins" that would hold it stationary or cause it to rotate in a controlled manner. The fact that the slats are so easily removed and loose would cast doubt on it being a tool, but perhaps part of some sort of early machinery. Also it seems to have been made on a fairly modern lathe judging from the lathe teeth marks on the inside.
Was there anything else in the box that could be a clue? What did the women's (who brought it to you) father do for a living?
I'm still mulling it over, I love old stuff.

I just re-read your post, I see you can't answer those questions.

Instinctively it does have elements that make me think of textiles but I can't get on board with the shuttle theory.
Maybe some part of a thread spinning machine.

edit on 3-3-2013 by tanda7 because: eta

posted on Mar, 3 2013 @ 03:45 PM
reply to post by tanda7

Your observations are very thoughtful and useful. Thank you.

I wondered too about the grooves influencing how it would 'settle' into another possible component. I can't rule out that this is a part of some larger or more complex device.

If there is any rotation involved in its use, perhaps the peg sticking out of the other end would deliberately limit the degree of possible rotation to 'back and forth' instead of continuously in one direction..

Another thought was that the cylindrical shape suggests that it was intended to be inserted into a larger tube/pipe. Could the projecting peg be there to orient it properly via a slot that it would ride in?

I made a point of examining the ends carefully for signs of circular grooving that would be consistent with them being in contact with surfaces against which they would be rotating and I saw NO evidence of this. Nothing would indicate that it could have been suspended from one end or the other by a rope or cord.

I also have pretty much ruled out any fins or anything else being inserted into those four grooves. They are too shallow and in pristine shape as you can see from the photo. Same goes for any rope or cord that may have lain in them -- they simply look untouched.

Keep the ideas coming!
The person who donated the chest of clothing and this item left before the curator went through the contents. It was later that she discovered this 'thing' among the items. Since the donor didn't have a history with these objects, it's unlikely she would know any answers to the questions I'd love to ask. ;(

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 12:57 AM
reply to post by GoneGrey
Okay, I asked some folks who are much smarter than me and here's what I got.

It seems to me that the removable slats keep yarn (or string or thread) contained and the "working end" exits through the groove. When ALL of the slats are removed, the "not a loom shuttle" can be refilled simply by winding thread around the dowel and the slats replaced. I have a vague recollection of something that looks like this being used as a huge darning needle to repair fishing nets in the days of the tall ships. As thread is consumed, slats are removed and relocated to other open positions and a little yarn is therefore freed to continue the process.

So it seems member rick004 nailed it.

The lack of wear is not surprising for this sort of tool because it's possible to own one and only use it a few times over your whole lifetime.

I'm still waiting for some confirmation and other opinions but I think the mystery may be solved.

edit on 4-3-2013 by tanda7 because: spelling

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 08:01 AM
reply to post by GoneGrey
I have not been able to confirm the "net tool" theory with either photos or professional opinions but I found someone with a fresh theory.

This person told me it is a toy rocket that is sold un-assembled. The grooves in the pointy end are where the tail fins would be fitted and glued. The grommet holes could possibly be there so you could run a string through to the center dowel and swing the toy around like a centrifuge on a length of string.

Or, the small dowel sticking out could be part of some launching system like a large slingshot?

It appears this model never got finished. so therefore none of the slats are glued into place yet and there is little wear.
If the blunt end is heavier than the pointed end, that would support this theory.

edit on 4-3-2013 by tanda7 because: photos

posted on Mar, 4 2013 @ 08:19 AM
reply to post by tanda7

I lost sleep trying to figure out what it is !! Lol ! The fishing net repair tool made most sense to me ! I love a mystery !! The rocket makes sense but if it had fins in the grooves they should be on the other end to look symmetrical ?

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