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larussell
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Re: Conjecture
larussell   9/6/2013 5:18:40 PM
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You can see in the closeup that the bar at the top is ruled. There is a strip with teeth below so the device can be positioned in fixed increments. Clearly a device for marking letters either with ink, or for embossing.

FBMcGalliard
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Re: Conjecture
FBMcGalliard   9/5/2013 2:41:17 PM
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It looks like a clamp for cinching up a strap. Perhaps part of a horses girdle?

(note the pair of pairs of rollers ROM 8 inches wide. This wide it would be on a work horse pulling a wagon.)

Max The Magnificent
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Re: Engraver or embosser?
Max The Magnificent   9/4/2013 3:51:34 PM
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@betajet: In the enlarged image, you can see characters in the grid so it appears that the stylus is used to select a letter, perhaps moving around a die for embossing.

Well spotted. It's actually an "Index Typewriter." Knut followed up with a close-up on the keyboard (http://www.clivemaxfield.com/area51/eet/max-0049-index.jpg). As he says:

"It's clearly not QWERTY. But it has 81 characters, both upper and lowercase letters and the digits 1-9 (where is 0?- uppercase O?). It's a Norwegian/Danish keyboard as it includes the letters æ, ø and å (ÆØÅ). You clearly see that the system is that the less used uppercase letters are placed to the left and right, leaving the more frequently used lowercase letters in the middle. It would interesting to study the position of the lowercase letters relative to their overall frequency in the Norwegian language, but I'll leave that to others :-)"

Bert22306
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Laundry equipment
Bert22306   9/4/2013 3:49:24 PM
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The gizmo in front is clearly a little stove. You put hot coals in it. And the gizmo in back is obviously one of those clothes wringers.

This is a clever 19th century clothes drier. Obvious. It absolutely can't be anything else!

betajet
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Engraver or embosser?
betajet   9/4/2013 2:27:12 PM
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In the enlarged image, you can see characters in the grid so it appears that the stylus is used to select a letter, perhaps moving around a die for embossing.  This is similar to the earliest typewriter prototypes and not that different from Dymo embossed label makers.  Given the small size of the array, which would result in an even smaller size of the die being moved around by the stylus, it would appear to be for making really small print.  Perhaps it's for writing up contracts? :-)  Or maybe for the fine print in currency or coins

Rcurl
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Re: Manual punch
Rcurl   9/4/2013 12:25:00 PM
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A voting machine maybe? I think I see a hanging chad near the bottom in the middle!

antedeluvian
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edison phonograph
antedeluvian   9/4/2013 12:11:05 PM
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It looks to me that it could be a variation of Edison's phonograph.

Max The Magnificent
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My lips are sealed ... for the moment...
Max The Magnificent   9/4/2013 12:01:24 PM
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I'm really enjoying seeing the way everyone's minds are working on thsi one ... so I'm going to hold off telling you more for a little while yet...

ANON1246372689447
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Manual punch
ANON1246372689447   9/4/2013 11:40:55 AM
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If this is that old, is it possibly a manual punch for something like loom control cards? They were functionally similar to the Hollerith punch card. That might be the link to 'modern' computers that used punch cards.

antedeluvian
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It's the perch
antedeluvian   9/4/2013 11:28:13 AM
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It's the perch that polly was nailed to...

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