Whatsits Guessing Game

Kris Foulds, Curator of Historical Collections, has selected 5 objects
from our museum collection to showcase and we want YOU to guess what they are!

Take your best guess about each image below, and click READ MORE to see the answer!

Whatsit 1

What could it be?

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Whatsit 1 is a hair receiver. When women with long hair cleaned the hair out of a comb or brush they kept it in the receiver. When they had a sufficient amount, they would card it like wool and elaborately braid it to create keepsakes: decorative trim on a photo frame or brooch, a watch strap, etc.

Whatsit 2

What could it be?

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Whatsit 2 is a nutmeg grater. One side held the whole nutmeg which rubbed against the grating surface when you turned the rotary handle.

Whatsit 3

What could it be?

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Whatsit 3 is a glove stretcher. If the fingers of leather gloves were too constricting, you could insert this hinges stretcher into the finger to gently stretch the leather. If you tried to force your fingers into a tight, fine kid leather glove you could pop the stitching and ruin the glove which was probably hand made and pricey.

Whatsit 4

What could it be?

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Whatsit 4 is a soap dispenser. Even dishwashing soap came in bar form. Frugal housewives would save the little shards of soap and clip them into the dispenser then swishing the dispenser in the wash water to dissolve the soap.

Whatsit 5

What could it be?

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Whatsit 5 is a curling iron. Early curling irons weren’t electric. You had to heat them on a stove being careful not to get them too hot so that you didn’t burn the hair off when you used the iron.