What is this gadget? in 1910-ish photo

Here you'll find a wide range of discussions on old-house topics.

Moderators: oldhouse, TinaB, Don M, Schag

Post Reply
melissakd
Posts: 3468
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:29 pm
Location: Indiana

What is this gadget? in 1910-ish photo

Post by melissakd »

This is not my photo; I just ran across it while cruising for historic-house photos on Flickr.
On the wall there is what looks like a glass tumbler connected to a long hose and sitting in a bracket, like a tooth-brushing glass in a bathroom. The bracket possibly is able to be set at one of several heights along a strip of wood.

I'm also wondering why the conglomeration of lighting.

Under 'Actions' you can click on 'View all sizes' to get a closer look.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/97974762@N00/6133015401/
Image
The Thaddeus W. Bayless House
Built between July 1863 and January 1865, major add/reno between 1890 and 1902
Style = Mutt

Sombreuil_Mongrel
Posts: 2189
Joined: Sat Sep 30, 2006 10:12 am
Location: WV

Re: What is this gadget? in 1910-ish photo

Post by Sombreuil_Mongrel »

I think it's a gas lamp; the tubing is the rubber gas line. It's adjustable because the user needs the light at various heights for examining _???_.
Casey
Image

GothicHome
Posts: 170
Joined: Wed Apr 18, 2012 9:08 pm
Location: Chatham Kent On / Calgary Ab

Re: What is this gadget? in 1910-ish photo

Post by GothicHome »

I would suggest this may be a Dr's office. The devise on the wall was for irrigation of ears or some thing similar. There Is a degree on the wall and the side cabinet looks to be full of Dr's stuff. The oil lamp looks like a lower end Bradley and Hubbard probably original lighting. The electrical light came after and there would be a socket adaptor for a plug to run the table lamp. The cord has just got knotted. The fact that the oil lamp is still in place would indicate that the electric supply was undependable and used for back up. This was not uncommon at the time in most rural areas. The Box surrounding the taps over the sink is interesting. There are Two taps, hot and cold I would assume the box has two pipes running into it. But there is also a small tube running on the out side of the box. Is it possible the box was an early gas fired on demand hot water service? But then why the two pipes, that would suggest a central hot water heater!

melissakd
Posts: 3468
Joined: Sun Nov 11, 2007 4:29 pm
Location: Indiana

Re: What is this gadget? in 1910-ish photo

Post by melissakd »

Thank you very much, folks. I agree that it appears to be a doctor's office. It's got certificates and books, but no lawyer needs a sink. Do you know, I think that little appliance attached to the mystery box over the sink is soap on a rope!?!
Perhaps the glass-and-hose arrangement is for getting liquids into a patient...I should look up historic medical devices. Be right back.
Edit: Didn't pop right up, and I don't have time today to really get into it. I still wonder why it's on that tall bracket. Elementary siphon science would call for the input to be above the destination for any sort of liquid you wanted into the patient's body. But....still scratching my head. :?
Image
The Thaddeus W. Bayless House
Built between July 1863 and January 1865, major add/reno between 1890 and 1902
Style = Mutt

cjd
Posts: 100
Joined: Thu Feb 26, 2009 9:33 pm

Re: What is this gadget? in 1910-ish photo

Post by cjd »

Could it be something to test/assist hearing, like this:

http://beckerexhibits.wustl.edu/did/win ... leycat.htm ?

I am keenly interested in why there appears to be a small white skeleton hanging from the light.

Post Reply