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Guess What This Is!

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Bill Spohn

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Guess What This Is!

by Bill Spohn » Fri Jan 19, 2018 6:22 pm

Awhile back I posted a thread on oddball kitchen paraphernalia. Here is another one. Guess what this is or does and what it is called. Approximately 140 years old. No Googling now....

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Robin Garr

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Re: Guess What This Is!

by Robin Garr » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:48 pm

I googled, so I won't cheat and post a spoiler. Very interesting, though. I had no idea.
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Bill Spohn

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Re: Guess What This Is!

by Bill Spohn » Fri Jan 19, 2018 7:51 pm

Thanks Robin.

We'll give them a bit more time and then I'll post an article.
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Re: Guess What This Is!

by Bill Spohn » Sat Jan 20, 2018 5:39 pm

OK, the answer - it is a 19th century spit jack. The loop on the left side was used to hang it up in front of the fire, the bottom look attached to a weighted wheel, to which birds or small game were attached and the hole in the middle is the winding hole for the clockwork mechanism inside that would turn it slowly for even cooking.

It was a machine age alternative to the cook (or scullery slave) having to turn the meat by hand, or the older habit of using a dog in a treadmill (think large hamster wheel) to turn the spit. The dogs were know as Turnspits ad the breed has died out. Interesting article on them at

.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turnspit_dog and
https://www.saveur.com/turnspit-dog-kitchen-appliance

Quite an interesting write up on the clockwork versions here http://www.journalofantiques.com/Sept02/hearthsep02.htm

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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Guess What This Is!

by Mike Filigenzi » Sun Jan 21, 2018 12:05 am

Gotta admit, I had no idea.

Very interesting article on the Turnspit dogs. That's a breed I've never heard of.
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Barb Downunder

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Re: Guess What This Is!

by Barb Downunder » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:01 am

That’s cool Bill, got any more? Could be a fun thing to continue the theeme. If I could get my act together and work out how to post pics there are one or two items in my collection may be of interest.
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Re: Guess What This Is!

by Bill Spohn » Mon Jan 22, 2018 12:08 pm

Well, here is another 'jack' but a non-food one.

Back in the day (18th century) when candles were expensive and sealing wax messy, they had an alternative - a wax jack that took a roll of softer wax with a wick, that you just unwound as it burned. They usually had a snuffer and a plate beneath to catch burnt bits. They could be used for sealing wax or light with suitable waxes. They were also commonly made in silver and are therefor rather spendy today - Ebay has a bunch over $1,000. I must say that they sight of the rolled up wax does put one in mind of less agreeable sights.... If the wax was held inside a closed container with a hole in the top, it was called a bougie box (bougie = French for candle).

More info at http://www.acsilver.co.uk/acsnews/2014/ ... -wax-jack/
https://regencyredingote.wordpress.com/ ... gie-boxes/

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Mike Filigenzi

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Re: Guess What This Is!

by Mike Filigenzi » Mon Jan 22, 2018 5:06 pm

It might help if they could find wax in a color other than dung brown.

Pretty nice items, though.
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