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This monthís "Guess What" came about through a carefully planned invasion [with permission] of the nationís premier patent model archives - privately owned and proudly curated by super collector Alan Rothschild, of Cazenovia, New York. (Feature article in up-coming issue.)

This simple item - wood handle, brass fingers with slide ring - was actually patented on February 21, 1860 by W.J. Johnson of Newton Corners, Massachusetts 27,225. 

In the year 1860, that number was not the local zip code - but the actual awarded patent number. The only other information of help would be its size: 9" tall.

While the patent issued was for one specific use, it readily could serve a number of alternate functions such as: 1) Gripping part for mechanical claw machine 2) Business end of golf ball water hole retriever 3) Light bulb changer (which werenít invented yet) 4) Bird dog trainerís dead bird scent dragger 5) Artichoke boiling water retrieval clamp 6) Tether ball holder 7) Poodle parlor dog grooming tail holder 8) Clam broth favoring swish-through-the-liquid ladeling scam 9) Instant dog muzzle and come-along.

Tune in next month to see which one snookered the United States Patent Office!

    Answer to October's Guess What..?

What we featured last month was "pure" gadget: a cigarette making machine, c. 1943-4. The base and body is cast iron with a stippled black paint finish and a sliding chrome-plated super structure.

The lever on the side opens and closes the tobacco reservoir which you slid forward horizontally along a hollow tapered tube. The cigarette paper would be wrapped around this tube and the tobacco would be "ejected" or pushed into it. This saved you a lot of money if you were addicted to "recreational" smoking and also saved on tax stamps.*

*available for acquisition 11/2000