It's not often that you see one of these little beauties, but what on earth can they be and what might they be used for.
Last week's "What on Earth?" column sparked an interesting debate.
At first, Knut -- the owner of the artifact and senior academic librarian at the Department of Informatics library at the University of Oslo -- said he thought it was an Index Typewriter, but then someone else suggested that it was actually intended to emboss letters in leather. The last I heard, Knut was planning on picking up a piece of leather and performing some experiments. I will let you know what Knut says when he reports back.
Meanwhile, the image below was emailed to me by my chum Rick Curl. Do you have any idea what on earth these little beauties are called and what they might be used for?
Actually, can you think of a suitable caption to accompany this photograph? And while you are cogitating, contemplating, reflecting, and ruminating on this, if you have any interesting artifacts of your own, please feel free to email me with descriptions and pictures at firstname.lastname@example.org for their inclusion in a future "What on Earth" column.