Jun 30, 2009

Mystery Tool

Jaws Open
Originally uploaded by Snak Shak
At a garage sale in Phillips recently, I came across a fantastic old tool of some sort. I have no idea what it is, but I had to buy it. It appears to be solid brass, and has a handle that opens to spread two jaws with hooks on the end apart a couple of inches. It's got a dog on the underside for mounting in a work bench.

The worksmanship in this thing is amazing. All of the parts are machined and it's stamped with a manufacturer name and serial number or something. More photos of the mystery tool are located at the Flickr site.

If any readers have ideas on what this might be, I would love to hear your thoughts. I plan to send photos to the Historical Society as well, so we'll see if they have any ideas as well.


  1. The Midwest Tool Collectors Association might be able to identify it for you. www.mwtca.org/contact-us/12-contacts/5-whats-it-committee.html Or, if it has a patent number on it, you could do a patent search.

  2. Thanks, Ted. The site actually has a "What is it?" email address, so I sent the photo link and a description of tonight. We'll see what we get back...