What is this??

All things outside of Burning Man.

Re: What is this??

Postby illy dilly » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:46 pm

gaminwench wrote:Hmmmm...Well, I have to say DAB's suggestion that it's a Civil War "land torpedo" is quite compelling, but I really don't see how the mechanics would actually work in the space allowed; there's no room for the ball to sink down onto the pin--in fact, the ball rests gently upon that pin and free-pivots slightly on it; and there's really not much room at all between the walls of the cups and ball to insert gunpowder or explosives; the hole in the ball is fairly roomy by comparison, but I can;t imagine it holding more than a thimble's full of primer or powder or whatever. All that said, it DOES have the look and feel of being some sort of armament or weapon; certainly if one could actually get the ball and cups to explode, they'd cause considerable damage! And if this is designed to be thrown, then the pattern of indentation-marks around the outsides of the cups would certainly help a man grip the thing firmly as he lobs it at the enemy (tho how far he could actually throw a 6 lbs. iron ball is open to speculation).

Dang, I'd still really love to know what this infernal device is! Thanks for your ideas everyone! Keep 'em coming!

From what I can see in the last picture compared to the middle picture(right half where it shows the lid up side down), is the hole on the inside of the lid smaller than the flanges out on the out side of the lid?

Also, about how big is the whole on the ball part of it? Big enough to stick your finger in?
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Re: What is this??

Postby Bob » Tue Apr 17, 2012 4:48 pm

Now that's gettin' mighty personal-like.
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Re: What is this??

Postby Drawingablank » Tue Apr 17, 2012 7:17 pm

gaminwench wrote:Hmmmm...Well, I have to say DAB's suggestion that it's a Civil War "land torpedo" is quite compelling, but I really don't see how the mechanics would actually work in the space allowed; there's no room for the ball to sink down onto the pin--in fact, the ball rests gently upon that pin and free-pivots slightly on it; and there's really not much room at all between the walls of the cups and ball to insert gunpowder or explosives; the hole in the ball is fairly roomy by comparison, but I can;t imagine it holding more than a thimble's full of primer or powder or whatever. All that said, it DOES have the look and feel of being some sort of armament or weapon; certainly if one could actually get the ball and cups to explode, they'd cause considerable damage! And if this is designed to be thrown, then the pattern of indentation-marks around the outsides of the cups would certainly help a man grip the thing firmly as he lobs it at the enemy (tho how far he could actually throw a 6 lbs. iron ball is open to speculation).

Dang, I'd still really love to know what this infernal device is! Thanks for your ideas everyone! Keep 'em coming!


Just want to throw some more ideas out here.

Based on the oxidation the device appears have a lot of iron in it and that means that it grows with oxidation (until the oxidation flakes off). This means that in the original non oxidized state:
1) The hole was likely substantially deeper and wider than it appears now.
2) The space between the inside and outside was probably a bit larger.
3) In the case of the pin, it was undoubtedly more robust but the bulk of the oxidation has sloughed off by now.

As for explosives, Nitroglycerine and TNT have been around since the 1860's and Dynamite since the 1870's - it wouldn't take a huge amount of those.

Like you, I'd love to know what it is. Although I subscribe to the land mine idea, it could be something really obscure like a device to collect soil samples from the ocean floor or something equally strange. Or perhaps you have the precursor to a dead blow hammer - a dead blow chain flail.
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Re: What is this??

Postby catinthefunnyhat » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:22 pm

Image

Be specific.
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Re: What is this??

Postby gaminwench » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:26 pm

I found this item at an estate sale--along with a lot of abandoned old couches...go figure. If you were want to stick your finger in my ball-hole, you'd have to use your pinky--and a mighty slim pinky it'd have to be. The outside cups are very rusty, and the pin is quite corroded; the interior ball, not so much--I'd say it;s in pretty good shape considering how old it must be. The hole in the top cup (opposite the cup with the pin) is partially closed with slag, but originally must've been about 1/4" in diameter; it also appears to have a beveled opening on the outer side of the hole. And no, you can't stick your pinky in it, no matter how skinny you are. I had originally thought it might be a cannonball, but why engineer it to be so elaborate, and in three parts? I'm still stymied.
Last edited by gaminwench on Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is this??

Postby Patsh » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:27 pm

I kind'a liked the little grey number in the background of the first picture of the car... :D
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Re: What is this??

Postby Bob » Tue Apr 17, 2012 10:28 pm

I mentioned Napoleon guns because they were some of the most common cannon prior to the 20th C. Twelve-pound (iron) ball typically (though fragmentation shells would be lighter), designed for about a four and a half inch bore. Here's a short list of various cannon shot.

Then again, I still have no idea re: on which continent the device was found.
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Re: What is this??

Postby kittyrodriguez » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:24 pm

Bob wrote:BTW, here's the best "what is it" site on the internets.

An example (hint: it's not a Dubstep tuning fork) (and no peeking at the answers):

Image


I peeked at the answer :oops: I thought it was one of those old lancettes. You know, those medical devices with lots of little razors used for bloodletting. Its not.
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Re: What is this??

Postby Oldguy » Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:48 pm

My guesses on the round object are:(1) a split shot mold for lead 3 inch grenade or, (2) a net bottom anchor mold. Fishermen use a (3) shot weighted line with multiple hooks along line, and seamen use a (4) sounding shot to pull up bottom samples to check charted depths.

My Grandpa had me hike along the highway looking for auto wheel balance leads to melt down and mold into fishing line sinkers when I was a boy. Plumb-bobs and window sash weights are made of lead too. Most farmers around here mold their own lead pipe fittings and repair lead stuff. Ever wonder why the symbol for lead is Pb ? Plumbers use lead fittings, and the weight on a plumb-bob is usually a stick of lead. Even my flintlock uses lead shot.
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Re: What is this??

Postby delle » Wed Apr 18, 2012 6:09 pm

Triken wrote:I kind'a liked the little grey number in the background of the first picture of the car... :D


Image

Here ya go, sis. Bit grainy and shit, but hey..... suit's it, I think!
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Re: What is this??

Postby theCryptofishist » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:11 pm

It's one of the golf carts of death, isn't it?
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Re: What is this??

Postby Patsh » Wed Apr 18, 2012 7:32 pm

delle wrote:
Triken wrote:I kind'a liked the little grey number in the background of the first picture of the car... :D


Image

Here ya go, sis. Bit grainy and shit, but hey..... suit's it, I think!


Thanks, Sis!! :mrgreen:

Does anyone else see the enormous potential for that little shell? :shock:

I wonder what the heck it used to be. :?:

I think it's cute...
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Re: What is this??

Postby gyre » Thu Apr 19, 2012 1:38 am

My guess is a Smart car, or a copy of one.
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Re: What is this??

Postby illy dilly » Thu Apr 19, 2012 9:32 am

gyre wrote:My guess is a Smart car, or a copy of one.

I also say smart car.
But the passenger door opening is a sort of weird shape.
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Re: What is this??

Postby Drawingablank » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:08 am

That design is similar to several 100% electric cars, but the closest I could find based on that image is a wheego whip life.
Image
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Re: What is this??

Postby knowmad » Thu Apr 19, 2012 10:30 am

Perhaps an older version of...
Image
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Re: What is this??

Postby illy dilly » Thu Apr 19, 2012 11:35 am

Drawingablank wrote:That design is similar to several 100% electric cars, but the closest I could find based on that image is a wheego whip life.
ImageImage


I'd say that you sir DaB, have made a match. The only difference I'm seeing is the back passenger side window.
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Re: What is this??

Postby gyre » Thu Apr 19, 2012 6:21 pm

Probably a copy, like the Harmony and Happiness I posted a photo of.

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Re: What is this??

Postby gaminwench » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:30 pm

OK, hello all--again! This is GM's roomie chiming in again on the quite curious and rather odd object in my possession... The latest news is that the strange item in question remains, as of this writing, an utter mystery,...still! I've had an email exchange with some of the nations foremost Civil War armament experts, Mr. David Poche and Mr. Peter George; and they have both finally admitted that they have NO IDEA as to what this item might be. (Here's a link to a most excellent article they have written on the subject of "Solid Shot Essentials" in the Civil War: http://www.pochefamily.org/books/SolidShotEssentialsMod.html ) Peter, who is apparently one of, if not THE, nation's most knowledgeable experts in the field, has said that he has absolutely no idea what this object is(!); however, he is fairly certain it's NOT a Civil War weapon of war. So, there you have it: the mystery remains! On David Poche's recommendation, I will now invite ideas on other, related forums in hopes of determining just what this curiously mysterious object might be--wish me luck! I will keep you all posted on what I find out, if anything. Many thanks to everyone for your generous assistance and ideas. The Great Hunt continues!
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Re: What is this??

Postby gaminwench » Sun Apr 22, 2012 9:32 pm

(And a big hug and kiss to GM for letting me interlope on her account for this exploration!)
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Re: What is this??

Postby Bob » Sun Apr 22, 2012 10:25 pm

Please tell us where it was bought, and if possible where you think it was originally found.

Measure the outer circumference around the middle with whatever tape you have, or use calipers to measure the diameter. "Softball sized" doesn't help. Same with the interior ball. Weight isn't so important, it's obvious it's cast iron.

The guy at this What is it? website is always looking for stuff to post for his weekly quiz, you could email him once you have more useful information on the object. Or he might have other ideas about whom to contact.
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Re: What is this??

Postby TomServo » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:10 pm

knowmad wrote:Perhaps an older version of...
Image
Image
like this Haymarket bomb?
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Re: What is this??

Postby Eric » Sun Apr 22, 2012 11:55 pm

illy dilly wrote:
Drawingablank wrote:That design is similar to several 100% electric cars, but the closest I could find based on that image is a wheego whip life.
ImageImage


I'd say that you sir DaB, have made a match. The only difference I'm seeing is the back passenger side window.


If you look at the drivers side of the burnt out Wheego you can see the outline of the back side window- it looks like it's a match. Not sure how it survived when the rest of the vehicle got toasted, however.
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Re: What is this??

Postby Ugly Dougly » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:50 pm

How about dat?

Image
Please to visit PAGE TWO.
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Re: What is this??

Postby illy dilly » Mon Apr 23, 2012 3:55 pm

Eric wrote:
If you look at the drivers side of the burnt out Wheego you can see the outline of the back side window- it looks like it's a match. Not sure how it survived when the rest of the vehicle got toasted, however.

Damn! Good eye!!!
I'm wondering if the window portions we're filled in with some sort of molding. And then painted with primer or something to make it look like the rest of the vehicle.
Since it seems like it might be at a car show, it might be some sort of mod-ed art.
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Re: What is this??

Postby gaminwench » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:12 pm

Just the fact, ma'am...

ORIGIN: Unknown. Was purchased at an estate sale in Ojai, California.

MEASUREMENTS:

1. Outer circumference of cups = 11.5 inches
2. Inner diameter of single cup = 3 1/16 inches
3. Diameter of hole in top cup = 1/4 inch
4. Length of interior "spike" inside bottom cup= 1 3/8 inches (1 1/8 inch spike on a 1/4 inch base inside cup)
5. Width of cup walls = 1/4 inch
6. Diameter of orifice in interior ball = 3/8 inches; DEPTH is 1 3/8 inches, same as length of spike)
7. Outer circumference of interior ball = 9 3/8 inches

...so there!
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Re: What is this??

Postby BoyScoutGirl » Mon Apr 23, 2012 5:46 pm

delle wrote:Image

As mentioned, what looks like beads are really chestnuts. The metal pieces are each about 3inches long.


I'm not sure if the third charm has been identified, but to me it looks a lot like a miniature penannular brooch, the Celtic version of a safety pin:

Image
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Re: What is this??

Postby Bob » Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:49 pm

gaminwench wrote:Just the fact, ma'am...

ORIGIN: Unknown. Was purchased at an estate sale in Ojai, California.

MEASUREMENTS:

1. Outer circumference of cups = 11.5 inches
2. Inner diameter of single cup = 3 1/16 inches
3. Diameter of hole in top cup = 1/4 inch
4. Length of interior "spike" inside bottom cup= 1 3/8 inches (1 1/8 inch spike on a 1/4 inch base inside cup)
5. Width of cup walls = 1/4 inch
6. Diameter of orifice in interior ball = 3/8 inches; DEPTH is 1 3/8 inches, same as length of spike)
7. Outer circumference of interior ball = 9 3/8 inches

...so there!


Oh, of course, it's on page 23 here:

Image
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