Mystery Object 443: Cough Drops?

Size: A bread knife

Recorded: August, 2015

Found: Collier County, Florida, United States

A nice ivory one. Ivory was probably the choice material.

Circa:  16th-Present

Made: Florida, United States

Material: Wood, Ivory, or Bone

Status: Known

These have been used for a very long time, and they’re still used today. You’re not likely to have one at home.

Though they’re used in a few industries, they’re essential to one, and that brings us to the name I’ve assigned.

They’d be used most often during and after bad weather, though they have nothing to do with weather, per se. If they weren’t used regularly, one’s livelihood would suffer. And while men and women used these, it was the livelihood of men that was at risk.

Hint 1:


Used all over the world, but not in places like Kansas or the Sahara.


Hint 2: 


They’re for maintenance.




Not Hall’s, but Fisherman’s Friend. It’s a shuttle for fishing net repair. A piece of line would be nestled in the cut out and woven between holes in the net. Fishing nets are damaged nearly every time they’re used, and constant repair is necessary.


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  Click for larger images

Ivory, bone or wood… whatever was laying around was fine.

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  1. They’re generally called net needles by my family and entire fishing community. You “fill” the needle by wrapping the line up to the cutout needle and back down the same side, passing under to the other side and up to the needle on that side… so you can unroll the line without issue and still pass the needle through the net holes. Also, it is used for making fresh net, in addition to repairing nets. And women fished using nets as well as men, as well as men being the ones standing out along the lines of hung nets repairing holes. I still have needles here somewhere, and I’ve repaired nets and made fresh nets, both gill nets and cast nets using net needles.

  2. Mark said that whenever the submarines came in and out of Holy Loch Scotland, they would have snagged nets… lots of them. However, every fisherman and fisher woman had NEW NETS as they all put in claims. The US Navy just paid (good will) and it was kind of funny. They did snag a LOT of them… but not ALL of them. When the Navy pulled out I wondered if the UK Subs were paying or not (the US always picked up the bill)

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