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What is it? Game 67: Rocket Thingy

This week's collaboration with What is it? blog brings us this strange rocket-shaped device. Do you know what it is for? For more clues and larger picture, check out the What is it? blog.

No prize this week - you're playing for fun and bragging rights only! Have fun! (I can't wait to see Randall's guess!)

Update 6/21/08 - The answer is: A self-contained ship's log, it records the distance traveled as it's pulled behind a ship. Congratulations to Zack who got it first!

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further to my last comment after more research i have realised that i got the patent date wrong, edward massey was born in the early 1800s(1802 i think) and went on to patent his so called harpoon log in 1863ish a few years prior to the development of the walkers of birmingham england log of a very similar design.
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this is in fact as knackler states a ships log although not a walkers model.i also own a walkers a2 harpoon log and althaugh very similar it is my opinion a massey ships log patented aprox 1806 that we see here.the first mechanical shis log ever patented..
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