What is It? Game 10.

This week's What is It? game with What is It? blog is this weird looking device. One more photo and clues as of the dimensions can be found at What is It?

Guess what it is (and what it's for) and win a free Neatorama T-shirt! Game rules, as always, are simple: write your guess on the comment section, but post no URL links (let others play, please). First one to guess right wins the prize! Last round, by the way, closed with no winner.

Update 2/9/07: The answer:

Well tile placing apparatus, 11" diameter when expanded, 10" diameter when collapsed. Wells were lined with tile which were placed on the outside of this device and lowered down, when in place, pulling on the rope collapsed the device and it was pulled up, leaving the tile behind. Patent number 435594 shows a different tool that was used for a similar purpose.
Seems like #36 by Fodder is the closest. Congrats!

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At 11" in diameter it would be too narrow to stretch a top hat. The handles inside seem to push the wooden blades out, not in, so it wouldn't be for gripping and wooden blades wouldn't work for digging. I think it is much like a shoe tree but made to keep the upper segment of riding boots in proper shape.
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