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Guardian list of mystery objects at Science Museum

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MikeG.

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....includes a couple of tools.

Here's the list.

The fret saw is obvious. I've emailed them and suggested they post here if they want further information.

Is the second tool used for packing sand in around a pattern-piece in a foundry?
 

AndyT

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I know it's difficult for museum curators to be expert on everything, but it's a bit odd not being able to identify that fretsaw. It's got the maker and model clearly written on it and they're not rare.

Dunno about the brass lump, you could well be right Mike. It looks like something which could be very easily made in a foundry by whoever needed it.
 

Rorschach

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AndyT":2idqqqq6 said:
I know it's difficult for museum curators to be expert on everything, but it's a bit odd not being able to identify that fretsaw. It's got the maker and model clearly written on it and they're not rare.

Dunno about the brass lump, you could well be right Mike. It looks like something which could be very easily made in a foundry by whoever needed it.
They seem to be a funny bunch. I am glad to see they are asking for help though. I spotted a quite serious mistake on an item in my local museum, pointed it out (in a friendly manner) to the curator, they were insistent they were right and I was wrong even though I not only showed my personal credentials for expertise on the subject and some internet "proof" to add further.
Curators at the science museum were good when I pointed out something on an item there, they had the date wrong, I told them that not only was it wrong (I had the same machine) but they could get an accurate date since the item had a serial number and a date list was online, they were very grateful, or seemed it anyway but admitted it was unlikely they would change the sign anytime soon as it was a lot of hassle :lol:
 

Rorschach

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Most sand packers tend to have flatter faces, otherwise they would move the sand sideways rather than downwards, but it could be for a special purpose.
 

Andy Kev.

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Given that the fret saw is glaringly obvious (I'm sure that that many non-woodworkers would be able to say on closer inspection that it is obviously some kind of sawing device), I wonder how many of the curators actually have expertise in scientific or technical backgrounds. For instance how one bit of laboratory glassware functions is fairly clear from looking at it. Whatever its specific purpose was is another matter although it might have been a standard bit of kit for allowing passage of two fluids/gases at different rates and thus applied wherever you need that function.

I wonder if the curators are qualified in museum curation but know bog all about any specific disciplines. I would have hoped that the science museum would be chokka with ex-practitioners from various backgrounds with just a couple of suits to front it up. Apparently not.
 

MikeG.

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I imagine it is much more complicated than that, Kev, and probably more a question of logistics. With literally millions of items in storage, getting the right person to look at the object in question would be a real task. Many "discoveries" are made in museums by people looking through collections hidden away in drawers and cabinets, mis-labeled when they were first brought in, and then not looked at again for a hundred years.

I also imagine that this list is something of a publicity exercise.
 

Cheshirechappie

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Maybe, given that most of those items look to be fairly easy to identify by someone reasonably knowledgeable in the relevant field, it's something of a public relations exercise? I can't image any museum curator having the expertise themselves, but surely part of the job is maintaining a range of contacts in specialist fields - "Hmmm, it's a handtool of some sort - I'll ring TATHS" - that sort of thing.

Putting some piccies out there gives them some publicity, and it might even serve to bring a few more people of specialist knowledge to their attention.
 

Sheffield Tony

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That brass thing - I've seen one of those ina previous "what is this tool" within the last year on here or on TATHS on Facebook. Sand packing was a favourite, soldering iron was also suggested (however unlikely). My only other thought is why is it brass, possibly ease of making if a foundry tool, or non-sparking if for something much more exciting.
 

siggy_7

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In fairness, the caption to the saw says that are looking for stories describing the item's use rather than an identification of what it is. Identification of an item is one thing, having the history of its origins, details of usage etc is not so easily determined.

Sent from my SM-N960F using Tapatalk
 

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