what is this?

I found this in a friends basement he was cleaning out and am trying to find out what it is.
It looks sort of like a key and has a moveable dial on the side that register 1/2 a degree with each turn of the shaft stickiing out of the end. the dial on the front can be rotated to a new postion to use as a reference point. markings on front are LS Starrett Athol Mass USA pat april 13 1897 pat mar 28 1905
I did a google search and came up empty
thanks; Jimmy
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Try this.... http://www.davistownmuseum.org/Inventoryofpictures/WebInfoStarrett.html

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Look like this... http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&itema16927937&category 876

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mike thats it!!! but what is it for?
jimmy

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http://www.kaleden.com/detail,starrett-107-speed,427466.html

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Mike got it right. It is a speed gauge. There was one back on the farm and we used it once or twice to check the fan speed on a combine (The fan that separates chaff from grain). Later, grandpa went and bought a similar device with a rubber tip and a large dial that read in RPMs. Switched as his eyes were going bad and had a hard time reading the first gauge.

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On Mon, 6 Sep 2004 08:54:15 -0600, Jim & Sharon wrote

Hee, hee, I'll jump in ;^)
RPM gauge ( I have one) You press the head against a rotating shaft and feel the bump on the dial pass under your thumb as it rotates. WIth the help of a second handed watch, you can get a close idea of teh shaft RPM.
-BR

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Look like this... http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&itema16927937&category 876

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