What is it? Set 259

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Below is a link to a photo of one of the thumb screws when removed:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v80/harnett65/Album%209/pic1465td.jpg
I've been trying to figure out what they're for, best thing I've come up with so far is they are for mounting the device on something, maybe some leather straps with holes go over the screws, they you could tie the other ends around whatever it was sitting on. Makes sense if it was used with one of those spy balloons that someone mentioned. Although my first thought was that the device was used with artillery, as several others have posted. Anyone else have a theory on these thumb screws?
I think to remove the compass, you would have to take out all of the small screws, which would be interesting but seems like this piece is too valuable to risk marring it with a screwdriver.

The hammers on both guns were totally rusted away when found and were just powder in the newspaper.

One was a flintlock, and the other a percussion cap, which is shown on the site.

Yes, the case has two pivoting tabs that fit into slots under the brass plate. I'll post a couple more photos on the answer page that show this.
This is a great piece, a friend who is a collector and goes to a lot of auctions estimated that if it could be documented to the Civil War, it would probably be valued at $20,000-$30,000. But unless it could be found in an old photo or described in detail in some papers, I don't know how you could prove its provenance.
Rob
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    O.K. A thumb nut for for sure, not a thumbscrew. And it looks as though the threads which go into the brass frame are intentionally deformed, to cause the screw to jam in place. But it may be that the brass frame is not threaded, but instead simply drilled to clear, so with both of them loosened the brass frame (with the compass) could be lifted clear of the base.

    No more on them as this one appears.

    Understood.
    O.K. That suggests that the metal of the sideplate and works was a different alloy than the hammers. Or perhaps the contact of the newspaper with the hammers wicked moisture to the hammers, but not the rest.

    O.K. Then simply a private collection.

    O.K. Thanks.

    Indeed. And I somehow find it offensive that something utilitarian (at least at the time) rather than designed as a work of art would have so high a value. Something like that should be still used, not set on a shelf behind glass.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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wrote:

1465 - Looks to me as though it would be a fairly precise wind direction indicator, possibly so you can figure out how to tweak in your aim? Probably not for use with pistols of the era, which I'd assume would lack the accuracy to make this a worthwhile exercise, but maybe for field artillery and such like.
1466 - Yet another fence tightener, perhaps? Tightening fences seems to be somewhere around trapping mice as fertile grounds for inventors.
1467 - Box to hold...ummm...maybe tape cartridges with commercials or announcements for a radio station? Maybe IC wafers during processing, in the days of yore when such wafers measured 3" or 4" (a few generations of technology ago)?
1468 - The center text rather gives this away, in my opinion. In the days of iceboxes (with actual ice), you'd hang this outside your house so that when the iceman cometh he knows how big a block to deliver. Calibrated in pounds, presumably, and color coded so as to be read at a distance.
1469 - Possibly an oriental mess kit, to carry your favored utensils to your friends house when dining there. The bottommost implements look like chopsticks.
1470 - Screw jack, used for jacking up axles or houses or whatever needed to be lifted. Operated by inserting a bar in one of the holes on the top part and screwing or unscrewing it from the base. Note the convenient carry handle, although I suspect it's still rather on the heavy side.
Now to read the other guesses...
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"E Z Peaces" wrote: (clip) Before a battle, the general has one of these instruments at his HQ.

The procedure you have outlined would work, but I can't believe anyone would build an instrument for sighting directions, and not have the measuring scale next to the pointer.
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Leo Lichtman wrote:

However it would seem to me that theodolites would be more practical for that use, and they were in common use in the 1700s http://celebrating200years.noaa.gov/theodolites/theodolitehead_zm.html . If a less precise instrument was suitable then a bearing compass would be used, that allows sighting through two slits.
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Finally a couple I recognize.
The first item is a portable binnacle box for small vessels not permanantly equipped with them inthe old days.
I have one but it also has a box top that fits over it and has latches on the sides to hold the cover on.
The cover also has a handle to carry it by.
They would be mounted on a pedastal similar to the binnacle on an old sailing ship, or eve more modern vessels.
The other piece with the handle on top is the companion light that is shaded to allow a bit of light on the compass but not destroy the night vision.
I have also seen that pliers looking gadget. Our electrians all had one to bend heavy gage wire. Not sure if that is what it is for but it sure worked good.

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1465: Portable weathervane. Perhaps this one was intended for dueling purposes (ensuring neither side has the advantage of the wind), considering the two pistols; you wouldn't need the compass for that, though.
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You guys are good, with one exception.
The ice card was hung in the window. That way the iceman could see it from down in the street. Even if he could not read the numbers, if his eyes were going, or you were on the fourth floor, he coould see the color, knowing that red was 20 lb, etc.
You DO remember how Jack Benny described his eyes, don't you? "Blue. Bluer than the right shoulder of a left-handed iceman."
Probably in reference to the poor schlub who had to haul sixty pounds up three flights of stairs, at every third house in south Chicago.
Flash

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Item 1470 is definitely a jack and could be used for a number of purposes. The item is exactly like the machinery jacks I use to set up odd shaped parts on a machine so they can be cut except that mine don't have the fancy designs on them.
John
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I have a pair of "Machinists Jacks" that belonged to my wife's grandfather. When not extended, they are about 1.5" tall.
Ed
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    [ ... ]

    Were those the ones made by Starrett? They had two sizes, with the 1-1/2" one being the smaller. The came with two screws -- one with a conical point, and the other with a tilting pad on a ball. The top just above the thread was square, with two holes at right angles going through the square for tommy-bars for actually adjusting them. They also had (in the full set) a cylindrical spacer to extend the height, another such spacer with a 'V' in the bottom to place over a round rod, and a third one with a blunt chisel to fit into a V.
    Check out eBay auction # 220315381867 for a good set of photos of a pair of them.
    Of course -- Starrett was not the only maker, just the most popular -- and they were shop made as well.
    They were used on shapers, mills, and planers to support an irregular casting so the surface to be cut would be parallel to the travel of the cutter.
    Enjoy,         DoN.
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It's a General No. 7. Lo and behold, they are still made:
http://www.penntoolco.com/catalog/products/products.cfm?categoryIDE75
The pair I have are from the 40's or so.
Ed
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wrote:

Harbor Freight sold a similar pair of jacks. While not great quality, have worked well enough in my home shop for many years.
"They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist..." Maj. Gen. John Sedgewick, killed by a sniper in 1864 at the battle of Spotsylvania
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Gunner Asch wrote:

My Dad had a couple of those, which I suspect either came with the house or were WWII surplus. One corner of the house stood on a couple of them for a few years. Mostly rust the last time I saw them though.
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wrote:

why didnt he use 2x4s?
Gunner

"They couldn't hit an elephant at this dist..." Maj. Gen. John Sedgewick, killed by a sniper in 1864 at the battle of Spotsylvania
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Gunner Asch wrote:

These ones were about three feet tall.

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Or, you could check out Starrett's website. Because - surprise - they
still make them.
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