What if this is some sort of easel? And the two 'clamp jaw' pieces
aren't finished because there was another part that covered
them....that hooked onto the top and bottom of the picture frame? That
would explain why it tightens by hand. Of course, it doesn't seem to
tilt so that's a problem, but this sort of reminds me of something an
artist might use...
Nothing in google.images, but I'll keep looking.
Ahh, that's been bugging me!
I wonder why someone with the tools and craftsmanship to make three
fancy wooden screws, would fail to smooth the top clamp jaw.
I think it was a kit, assembled by a peddler who had fine sandpaper and
varnish but nothing to smooth ripples in a board.
If it was built when lumber was milled by machine, metal screws should
have been readily available. Why didn't the kit provider supply them?
I think the provider was an unemployed man for whom the price of metal
hardware was an obstacle. Millions of Americans were in economic
straits in the 1920s; the Depression made it worse.
The size of the frame suggests to me that it was to hold something about
the size of a soccer ball. The holder would sell if it appealed to the
customer and the price was right.
1977: on the left, the plate has two screw holes. On the right, it has
one. I think it was mounted so that the left fork extended past the
edge of a counter, where it might be bumped.
How about a small, durable balance to weigh something like nails in
one-pound increments? An attachment with a hanging pan would have gone
on the left fork and an attachment with a counterweight would have gone
on the right fork. A fork would keep the attachment from rotating and
let it slide home to the predetermined distance from the fulcrum.
The right fork is closer to the fulcrum than the left fork, but that
doesn't mean a weight attached to the right fork would be closer than a
hook attached to the left fork.
1977 - It's only 5-3/4" long, tapered prongs 1" long and 1" apart.
The teeter-totter action (*Four seat teeter-totter for Lilliputians)
is less than an inch. The chain latch suggestion seems to be the
best, so for, IMO, but Rob hasn't verified that as correct. There are
old latches, for large shutters, that have a single sided/arm lever
mechanism, but not double pronged. Those shutter latches had 2 parts,
one for the shutter and one on the window facing. I can't think of
any other bifold closure (?) that would require that (1977) sort of
mechanism (with another piece to go with it at each end), either. But
it's obvious there is another part that plugs into or is caught/hooked
onto those prongs. Whatever movement is there, is slight.... to
assist in leveling/aligning 2 sides of something? I can't imagine the
unit standing alone, with some small extensions (plug-ins) on each
end, only, like a door knock missing the knocking parts.
1980 - Whatever it clamps, it can't be too tight. The top knob is
made for hand tightening, at most, not cranking. I highly suspect
it's for domestic use, only... guessing: maybe for holding some sort
of bag/sack for hand sewing closed. *Chicken/turkey/goose guillotine!
If with an attachment in place, the load hung from a point between the
tips of the tines, I measure 78mm from the fulcrum. The corresponding
distance on my triple-beam balance is 64mm.
I see two limitations on accuracy: imprecision in distances from the
fulcrum, and friction at the fulcrum. In some applications, a rugged
fulcrum and the ability to remove protruding parts would matter more
Instead of a hardware store, how about a farm? In his feed house, my
uncle had a spring scale to hang a bucket. I think it read to 60
pounds. Even if it had been accurate, it couldn't be read precisely.
However, it was cheap, durable, and out of the way.
To measure feed within 5%, 1977 looks like an improvement on my uncle's
spring scale: cheaper, smaller, more accurate, more reliable, more
durable. If it measured as much as 60 pounds, I would expect an
attachment to hold a small balance weight much farther from the fulcrum
than the load.
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