The Webster Museum asks: What IS that thing?

24 Jan

One of the things I really love about our Webster Museum is how hard the volunteers work to keep their exhibits interesting and topical. They’re always changing things out for the season, or simply to highlight something new and different, always with the express purpose to educate and inform.

The Museum’s current exhibit is a good example.

They’ve very appropriately called the exhibit “What is it?” and what they’ve done is pulled together many of the especially unusual … things … they’ve discovered in the museum’s nooks and crannies and grandma’s-house-like attic spaces.

Most of the strange items have been identified, like a bread crumber, a niddy noddy, a glove stretcher and a lard press. But several still remain a mystery, and they’d love to have help identifying them.

So if that challenge has whet your interest, check out these photos of several of the items. See if you can figure out what they are, and then make sure to stop by the Webster Museum to see more of these odd — but once regularly used — items.

And while you’re there, check out the new musical instrument exhibit, especially if you’ve never seen a ukelin or a melodica.

The Webster Museum is located at 18 Lapham Park in the Village of Webster. It’s open every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday from 2 to 4:30 p.m.

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(posted 1/24/2023)

10 Responses to “The Webster Museum asks: What IS that thing?”

  1. Cindy frank January 24, 2023 at 9:03 pm #

    The red lantern like object at bottom right was used at Kodak for developing film. It wasn’t a white light bc that would expose the film. It was a red light. I have a latent just like that. My father worked at Kodak in the film developing lab and he got one as a souvenir. .

    • websterontheweb January 25, 2023 at 8:03 am #

      Interesting! I don’t know if those were a few of the mystery items, but I hope the museum people are reading this! Thanks for …enlightening … us! 😊

    • John Rodger January 25, 2023 at 1:58 pm #

      It’s a pipe flare tool to make a flare fitting

  2. Matt Ffank January 24, 2023 at 9:08 pm #

    The item w a handle on it above the red lantern is a torch used to melt lead

  3. John w Lewis January 25, 2023 at 10:34 am #

    That is a flaring tool for copper pipe.

  4. pndk@twc.com January 25, 2023 at 11:04 am #

    It’s a flaring tool for steel and copper tubing. Used for high pressure hydraulics.

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  5. Jim January 25, 2023 at 6:54 pm #

    Look like for makeing fish wait

  6. DPD January 26, 2023 at 11:11 am #

    First: Imperial No 95 Flaring Tool. Second: Hat stand or wig stand circa 1920-1930s third: ?? Fourth: Bottle Corker Fifth: another Flaring tool Sixth: 1890s Mouse choker / Trap (poor Mickey …) Seventh: Sausage Stuffer Eighth: Vintage Blow Torch Ninth: Vintage Cherry stoner / pitter Tenth: Kodak Safelight Fixture. Confession: I copied each photo and ran it through Google Lens, then followed a few links (including a few eBay listings) and chased a few clues. That was fun! Thanks for a challenge.

    • websterontheweb January 26, 2023 at 11:26 am #

      You are a force to be reckoned with! A lot of people have commented on that one photo of the pipe flarer that Facebook randomly chose to post with the blog, but no one else has been intrepid enough to try to identify the others. I’m going to send the results of your investigation to the museum to see if they help identify some of the items they hadn’t managed to yet.

  7. Harold Smith January 26, 2023 at 2:34 pm #

    It’s a flaring tool to make custom lengths of small diameter pipe.

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