#1. In which occupation would this tool most likely be used?
This simple device is a vegetable peeler. It comes in many designs, all of which are used to peel the skin or rind off vegetables before preparation. They are found in the kitchen alongside such common kitchen implements as tongs, church-key can openers, and graters.
#2. If you see this item on sale at a flea market, snap it up as it is an ancient Egyptian hair comb.
This is a common clothes pin or clothes peg, used for hanging wet laundry on a clothesline to dry. These were originally made from a solid piece of wood, like the one depicted. Today they are often made of two pieces of plastic that are connected by a metal spring. Until the advent of the clothes pin, clothes were often spread on bushes or rocks to dry in the sun.
#3. What is the name of this type of headgear, often made of an open weave material?
A snood is a simple type of hairnet that has been in use for centuries in many parts of the world. Simple versions were worn daily just to hold a woman’s hair, while others were more elaborate and sometimes spotted with jewels. There is a similar version of this headwear known as a beard snood, which is worn by bearded men at work, for health and safety reasons.
#4. What would you be engaged in if you were using tools called a torsion wrench, half diamond, and snake rake?
These are just some of the tools used to pick a lock. The occupation of the locksmith is an old and time-honored one. These are delicate tools designed to manipulate the inner workings of a lock without causing any damage to the working mechanism. It takes many years of practice to become a master locksmith.
#5. For what is this unusual implement used?
This ancient smoking implement is known as a hookah. It is a type of water pipe that has been used for centuries for smoking tobacco. It is believed to have originated in areas of southern and southwestern Asia. It consists of one or more flexible tubes, attached to a container full of water, through which smoke is drawn and cooled before being inhaled.
#6. Where would you expect to find this object, known as an andiron?
Andirons are a pair of metal frames used to support wood in a fireplace. This photo is of a very elaborate andiron of the type that would have been found in a palace or mansion. Andirons were usually simple affairs that kept the burning logs off of the floor and helped provide oxygen all around the fire to help keep it burning.
#7. What would you expect to see your grandmother do with the implement in this photo?
This is an old-fashion rotary beater. It was used to mix ingredients for baking. Often called an egg beater or a hand mixer, the first patent for this type of device was issued in 1856. It was only a couple of decades later that the first electric mixer was patented. Despite the availability of the electric mixer, the hand mixer was still in use a century later.
#8. Which occupation would be most likely to use this implement?
This is a type of hand drill. The wooden handle could be unscrewed and was used to store the different bits used in the drill. Carpenters used these drill for centuries as they made a nice round hole without splitting the wood that was being used. The hand tools were so well made, that many of them still function well today.
#9. What is the alternative name for the apparatus known as an iron lung?
The iron lung is a type of negative pressure ventilator. It saved thousands of lives through the polio epidemics of the 20th century. It is basically a metal tank that encloses all of the patient’s body except his head and forces the lungs to inhale and exhale through the use of changes in negative air pressure. Early models were extremely heavy and very expensive. As new innovations made the apparatus easier to transport and use, their use skyrocketed. There have been a couple of patients who have lived inside an iron lung for over 60 years.
#10. What is the proper term for this lace furniture protector often found lying beneath vases, urns and other decorative items?
A doily is a small decorative mat usually made of cotten or linen thread. They are used to protect furniture as well as for decorative purposes. The name comes from a London draper named ‘Doiley’.
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