Patent Improved Widget Self-Snaffelizer
June 12, 2014 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Can you guess what the invention does? Beautiful and baffling machines in wood and brass from the Age of Steam. Selected from the collections of the Rothschild Petersen Patent Model Museum.
posted by Erasmouse (16 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
posted by MythMaker at 12:22 PM on June 12, 2014

This is a word screw threader invented in 1875. Do-it-yourself wood screws are in vogue again; this gorgeous machine could lend you the ultimate hipster street cred.

the fuck?
posted by Think_Long at 12:29 PM on June 12, 2014

14, woulda had a couple more if I'd stuck with my first instinct.
posted by calamari kid at 12:34 PM on June 12, 2014

12, but there were a bunch that I rejected the right answer because I was thinking "hmm, it wouldn't really work for that"
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:37 PM on June 12, 2014

A pigeon startler is something that could be made in a number of ways. I am tempted to classify all existing things into the categories of "startles a pigeon" and "does not startle a pigeon".
posted by idiopath at 12:38 PM on June 12, 2014 [9 favorites]

This could have been a lot more difficult if more attention had been paid to selecting the 3 wrong answers each time. Too many of those were obviously silly, so it made it easier to guess.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:39 PM on June 12, 2014

16, I actually recognized Abe Lincoln's patent model.
posted by Floydd at 12:50 PM on June 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

At BoingBoing we call an article like this TeamSpunk.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:53 PM on June 12, 2014

13; there were a bunch that I narrowed it down to two possibilities.
posted by TedW at 1:57 PM on June 12, 2014

IME, ain't nothing startles no pigeons.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:47 PM on June 12, 2014 [1 favorite]

I was often thrown by some of the devices (in hindsight) being not-full-scale models that couldn't actually do the job of the mechanism they demonstrate, and/or models made from the wrong materials. Part of me feels that's unfair :)
posted by anonymisc at 6:32 PM on June 12, 2014

IME, ain't nothing startles no pigeons

posted by uncleozzy at 6:35 PM on June 12, 2014

20, but I lucked out on the hatpin/horseshoe machine.
posted by Pudhoho at 12:02 AM on June 13, 2014

16, just going by things that made sense based on that day and age. I wonder if those models actually work. Also, could have done without the snarky comments after you answer. I'm pretty amazed by the capabilities these inventors/machines have without using computer controlled motors or hydraulics.
posted by Mr. Big Business at 6:07 AM on June 13, 2014

11, and sadly I also got one by recognizing the only POTUS patent, so it's really 10ish.
posted by IAmBroom at 10:17 AM on June 13, 2014

Ocelot socks!

Of course, obviously. I always forget that one.
posted by krinklyfig at 2:34 AM on June 14, 2014

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