Almost No One Can Figure Out What This Was Used For

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Hang around antiques long enough, and you’ll find a few things that completely mystify you.

That’s what the internet seems to be figuring out, anyways. Recently, pics of this strange object started to float around the net, confusing countless people. What is this thing…and how do you use it?


It seems old and potentially dangerous. Some internet commenters suggested that it’s a medical device, while others insisted that it was for planting vegetables. Both suggestions are, of course, wrong.

Older readers will immediately recognize it for what it is: a vintage oil can opener. Back in the day, oil came in sealed cans, and you had to attach your own spout to get anything out. One end of the opener would load into the can, while the rest functioned as a spout. Interesting, for sure…but we’ve got a few much more interesting (and confusing) items.

How do you use this strange pair of scissors?

It’s obviously something for embroidery, right? Maybe something for a strange craft. It definitely seems like something that you’d find in your mom’s sewing kit.

Blue And Grey Artifacts

It’s actually a candle wick trimmer. If you’ve got nice candles, these are a lifesaver; they cut off the wick, snuffing out the fire in the process, while the wide side of the scissors prevents the cut wick from falling into the candle wax.

If you tend to get your candles from big box department stores, this might seem a little gaudy, but it’s worth the investment if you’re a candle aficionado.

This one’s a bit more difficult.


Submitted to a Reddit community called “whatisthisthing,” it’s part of the inheritance that a Reddit user received from his grandfather. Here’s a hint, and it’s a big one: His grandfather was a watchmaker.

It’s a watch staking tool set. This item allows watchmakers to place balanced wheels and rollers on staffs with pinpoint accuracy. As one Reddit user noted when replying to the original post, “It’s your destiny. You’re the watchmaker now.”

Sadly, the poster noted that he doesn’t have the steady hands or patience required for the watchmaking trade (plus, it’s not exactly lucrative these days).

One more. What are these jars used for?


Hint: There’s no defect in the jars. They’re supposed to have that oddly shaped little hole in them. Try to think of what might fit into that hole, and you might have it (but probably not since we haven’t seen these things in decades).

They’re actually candy jars, also known as “people feeders.” The shape of the hole allows different types of candies to be placed inside and displayed; it’s also ideal for letting small hands pry out a treat or two. You might find these at your grandmother’s house, but they’re not too common anymore, which is a shame since they look awesome.


Keep these in mind the next time you hit the antique store. Just because you don’t know how something works doesn’t mean that it’s not absolutely cool—and if you post a pic to the internet, you can usually get a definite I.D. fairly quickly!

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