Tuesday, November 27, 2007

WHAT IS THIS? New description notes added since original post


















This glass jar was found in Lake Washington last summer, at a section of Madison Beach where locals have been tossing their unwanted housewares for decades. Does anyone know what it is? It is about 3" wide and 2.5" tall. It is made of a single piece of glass and has threads on the rim for a screw-on cap or lid. The reservoir or whatever it is in the center is the same height as the outside jar, but the top is slightly irregular as if a close seal were not required. As you can see this reservoir or whatever it is is not quite cylindrical, but slightly flattened. I can't figure it out.

34 Comments:

Blogger fst said...

If the center column comes above the lip of the glass (tough to tell) it could almost be an eyecup of sorts.

12:14 PM  
Blogger Andy Bennett said...

I would guess that it held a candle.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous nidrian said...

If it has a patent number on it you can look it up at google patents. But it looks like an insulator of some sort.

12:56 PM  
Anonymous nidrian said...

Yes, it looks like a battery rest. Whatever that may be.

1:11 PM  
Blogger Splotchy said...

If it can hold ashes, it's an ashtray.

Thankfully for those around me, I don't smoke.

1:13 PM  
Blogger SAE Miller said...

A door knob. Check out the similarities to 'doorknob' + glass in Google images.

2:09 PM  
Blogger K. Signal Eingang said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2:49 PM  
Blogger K. Signal Eingang said...

Let's try that again with a working link...

Well I've spent about half an hour looking through patents issued in September of 1899 and containing the word "glass", and I highly recommend the experience.

"Insulator" was my first guess, but it doesn't look right. Most insulators were colored, and had heavier glass. Also this thing has a lip that makes it look like it's intended to have a lid of some kind.

Closest thing I've come up with so far is a patent for a paste-bottle with an internal brush holder. If the center column rises above the lip, this could definitely be it.

see the thing itself over here.

2:53 PM  
Blogger K. Signal Eingang said...

Never mind, that's not it. Wrong date, wrong design. Still! I bet you could hold paste in this if you wanted to!

3:02 PM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

I sent these pictures to an old glass collector and expert; one who knows a battery rest when he sees one. It isn't a battery rest. His note to me said in part:

"Very unusual piece of glass. Nothing comes to me, looking at it, so it's still a mystery, sorry!"

O well.

J.W.

6:19 PM  
Blogger Steve Talkowski said...

Looks like an antiquated juicer to me!

7:43 PM  
Blogger Matt Tamaru said...

looks like a glass door knob with the brass fitting stripped for quick scrap cash to me.

9:11 PM  
Blogger Splotchy said...

Jim, you should put the patent information back up on the post.

If it helps, in addition to searching via Google Patents you can also go to the US Patent website to actually look up a specific issue date (I think your date was 09/05/1899)? From what I can tell, Google Patent search doesn't allow one to search by actual issue date -- the closest you can get is to search within a given month. Of course, perhaps the date on the object represented when it was filed for (in that case would it say patent pending? my head hurts).

Unfortunately, according to the US Patent site there were 475 patents that were issued that day.

Here's a link to search based on the 09/05/1899 issue date.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

Heya splotchy-

The patent info is still posted, and the day may come when I submit to the tedium of combing through patent records in search of this thing's identity. In a way I want to figure it out if I can... like solving a puzzle. Nobody who has seen it so far can offer even a hypothetical explanation of what it is. It's definitely not an insulator or a battery rest or a doorknob or an ashtray or a candle-holder. Aye, but what IS it??

10:56 PM  
Anonymous nidrian said...

I googled "patented united states and england" and found this. It's a paste jar!

But what was in it?

1:26 AM  
Anonymous nidrian said...

I can't find the exact patent for it either but K. Signal had the right idea.

1:42 AM  
Anonymous Jon said...

I think it is the top of a food processor

3:27 AM  
Anonymous nidrian said...

More specifically it's probably a Sengbusch inkwell.

4:35 AM  
Blogger Splotchy said...

Sorry, I am a lunkhead. I now realize the original image contained the patent information.

Congrats, to nidrian on what appears to be a correct ID.

It definitely looks like the Sengbusch Model 51 in the link he/she posted.

8:10 AM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

Yes, it is undoubtedly a paste jar.The cop is drunk, the doll is stuffed with sawdust. Nidrian (!), you deserve a prize. Let me know your address and I'll send you something.

J.W.

8:51 AM  
Blogger galeria de antares said...

idont know nothing about this piece,..may be to put candle or something with fire,.... jim, i have a dude, do you use oil paint to the canvas?,..for example in the fly dragon and human pig tired and drinkin,...this i like a lot ,the colors... sorry and salut!

11:37 AM  
Blogger Jim Woodring said...

Sí, ese cuadro se pinta en aceite en lona. Gracias por su interés.

J.W.

1:19 PM  
Blogger K. Signal Eingang said...

Man I was so close.

1:59 PM  
Anonymous ml said...

They sure knew how to treat their mucilage in the old days.

5:25 PM  
Blogger Matt Tamaru said...

Its amazing you found a 100 year old Inkwell. serious HARMONIC CONVERGENCE

4:31 AM  
Blogger Matt Tamaru said...

In the lake of all places!

4:32 AM  
Blogger Tom Dougherty said...

Looks like a lake plug. You'd better put that thing back where it came from.

1:50 AM  
Anonymous kpw said...

So it's a paste jar and not an inkwell right? I was hoping for inkwell. The fact that a cartoonist stumbles upon a 100-year old inkwell would just be too perfect.

5:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm very sorry, I don't know what it is.

2:06 AM  
Anonymous Dr. Culpepper said...

I'm in the euthanasia business, so I can show you how to use this thing, if you have a spare grandpa around.

2:23 AM  
Blogger Wiley said...

You put beer in it and snails and pillbugs crawl in and drown.

1:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think its the long lost treasure of Pirate Worg from the planet Zzop!

But I'm not sure...

-A

6:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a device to prevent ants from climbing onto a table. Each leg of the table is set in the central depression and a small amount of kerosene is poured into the moat.

Voila! Cake and candies are safe from depredation.

------------ max

5:44 AM  
Anonymous Senior Facility said...

I can show you how to use this thing, if you have a spare grandpa around.

10:16 PM  

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