While I was thoroughly enjoying an idle meander around the Social Security and Village Museum in Kurow on South Island, my attention was drawn to the implement pictured above.  The curator confirmed what the label says - nobody seems to know what it is.

I immediately thought of the Company of Truckshunters, amongst whom there are several people who are good with their hands (as it were) and who therefore should be able to shed some light into this mysterious corner of kiwi local history.

I can be of no real help, except to say that the museum is mostly concerned with the men who built the two large local dams and also brought the railway to central South Island.  The thing itself is about a foot (30cm) long and is made of metal throughout.

I've promised the museum's very friendly guardians that someone of my acquiantance must know what this thing was used for.

Prove me right - please.  If you don't, my reputation in Kurow will be in shreds.

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I have sent Mauricio our collective best wishes and hopes that his tonsil problem will soon be cured.

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1 comment:

Sid said...

Well Ian I may be wrong but I think it is an early (obviously) plumbers tool, used to 'tidy up' the ends of lead piping prior to joining them together.
The male end fits inside the pipe and is rotated using the handle. Turning the screw at the end allows for gentle expansion of the lead pipe to the required size.
The female end is opened and fitted over the outside of the pipe. Turning the screw gently whilst rotating the handle allows the pipe to be squeezed into the required size.
Thus one end fits into another ready for sweating together.