What is it? Game 39

This week's collaboration with What is it? Blog brings us this strange contraption - can you guess what it is?

Since no one guessed correctly in last week's game, we'll carry over the prize (a Free Live! Pro Webcam by Creative). It's not the latest gizmo, but hey - it's free!

Contest rule is darned simple: place your guess in the comment section. One guess per comment, but you can guess as many times as you'd like. Please post no URL - let others play. The first person who guessed correctly will win the webcam. If you live outside of the US or Canada, however, the prize is a Neatorama T-shirt instead.

For more clues (like dimensions and such), check out the What is it? Blog.

Come on, people! Let's win something already... Good luck!

Update 9/28/07 - The answer is:

Mechanical lifting jack for use on wagons and carriages. The rack-plate on the right is the fulcrum, while the one on the left serves as a catch.

From the patent:
...principally intended to be used for elevating and supporting either end of the axles of various kinds of vehicles prepatory to removing the wheels therefrom for the purpose of applying some lubricating material to the journals of said axles.

Congratulations to Steve Walker #11 who got it right!

Something to test the quality of a rope...

Put the rope through the hole and drill it. count how often you can turn the stick before the rope breaks/damages.
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I think is yet another fireplace potholder.

Anyway, the way the hooks are set, you place the rod on one hook, and under the opposite hook, and you can move the pot up and down by changing what hooks the rod is set into.

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This is a scam. The device was built first, then when it's function is figured out a patent will be filed and the inventor will die a rich man. For shame, Neatorama.
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I believe I have seen something similar. It is an early Car Jack. The style of the linear gearing on the sides is much like modern versions of the same tool, just bigger.

My 2 cents -

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Looks like a vintage tire iron. Not sure if that's what they're called, but the contraption you use to change tires (or wagon wheels in this case!)
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i think it's a golf club rack. the heads of the clubs balance against the upside-down hooks.
also, i think that tall steel bit with the eye might hold a bag o' balls?
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It's a device used to wind up rope. You tie one end in the little hole, and you can twist it all the way around the metal grooves, so that your rope is would up all nice and neat.
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i agree with dave. fire place pot holder, but i think the base is a little small for that. so i'd have to guess it's for drying your socks by the fire. there is even little burn marks on the bottom of the stand.
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It is a "strange contraption".

Technically this answer is correct by your own admission in the picture caption and should win me the webcam since you didn't ask what is this contraption 'used for'.

Seriously though, my guess is it's some kind of primitive drying machine used to wring water out of a heavy fabric. One would fold the fabric in half and thread it through the hole. the long metal rod would be inserted in the crook of the fold and twisted counter clockwise, using the teeth on each side to help hold the bar in place so it doesn't twist backwards and hit you in the face if you got tired.

That or the "Edsel" of recreational sexual devices.
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