What Is It? game 310

Hey look! It's time to play a game, from Neatorama and the wonderful What Is It? Blog! Do you know what the object in this picture is? It doesn't really matter if you do, because we are looking for the funniest guesses. You can win a t-shirt from the NeatoShop! But first, read the rules:

Place your guess in the comment section below. One guess per comment, please, though you can enter as many as you'd like. Post no URLs or weblinks, as doing so will forfeit your entry. Two winners who submit funny and/or clever (albeit ultimately wrong) answers will each win a T-shirt from the NeatoShop.

If you guess the correct answer, you'll get a big pat on the back.

Please write your T-shirt selection alongside your guess. If you don't include a selection, you forfeit the prize, okay? May we suggest the Science T-Shirt, Funny T-Shirt and Artist-Designed T-Shirts?

Update: the unidentified object is now identified as a Western Electric indicator box. It indicates something! But we wanted funny-but-wrong answers, and we got plenty. This one from sandyra is worth a t-shirt: "It's the original Price is Right's version of Plinko. Unfortunately all the discs ran sideways instead on straight down so no one ever won the money. After they turned the game on it's side it worked much better…" And so is one from tarnation:

It's a binary lock box. Convert to decimal, then knock that many times and it springs open. Black=1, white=0, so then 111001110010111111110001 represents 15,151,089. Knock 15,151,089 times to open. If you lose count, you must wait 16 hours to let the lock reset.

Or just use a saw.

Congratulations to those two, but you should really go read all the great guesses this week. See the answers to all the mystery items of the week at the What Is It? blog.

Love games and puzzles? Visit NeatoPuzzles for more!

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You've heard of the useless machine? This is the More Useless Than You machine. When Marvin Minsky was at Bell Labs in the 1950s busily inventing the machine that turned itself off when you turned it on, his colleague and rival, Professor Farnsworth Marvel Parsons made this masterpiece: Press a button, any button at all, and the machine slowly, almost imperceptibly... does nothing at all... ever.

Damn Fine Coffee, Small
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This is an early model for sending Text Type Messages. Note the classic mid-century wooden case, to fit in with 'modern' decor! It didn't catch on for several decades, until the technology made it smaller & portable.

Evolution- Proving the Egg Came First, sz XXL
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Judging from the two knobs at the bottom corners and the grid of lights, it's an example of an extremely early attempt at making an electronic Etch-a-Sketch. Unfortunately, the low resolution of the 'screen' due to the size of the bulbs made it impossible to recognize any of the pictures drawn on it, and the inventor was never able to acquire relays small enough to allow him to use grain-of-wheat bulbs on the display; the smallest such a device could be was the size of an upright piano, which was impractical for a child's handheld toy.
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