Mystery Object 451: Tall Technology

Looks familiar?

Size: Old Fashioned Water Fountain

Recorded: October, 2016

Found: San Francisco, California, United States

Circa:  1946

Made: United States

Material: Redacted

Status: Known

 

This one of those things that you know MUST exist, and it looks kind of familiar yet – what is it? Well, it’s e pluribus unum—one of many. And it’s the result of a non-consensual collaboration between two teams of scientists.

Though it saw wide use, it wasn’t used to its ultimate purpose, and it was soon replaced by better technology.

To get full marks, figure out not only what it is, but where it was used.

Hint 1:

Spoiler

Named by Benjamin Franklin

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Hint 2: 

Spoiler

Not a weapon, but quite dangerous.

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Answer:

Spoiler

It’s one cell of a battery complex for a GUPPY equipped submarine. After WW2, Americans tore apart German U-boats to learn their secrets and developed new technologies such as these batteries which would allow submarines to operate underwater at higher speeds for longer time. When installed, a complete battery of these cells weighed 280,000 pounds.

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Do you have a mystery object you’d like to share? Whether you know what it is or not, we’d like to hear from you! Drop us a line at jeff@collegeofcuriosity.com.

  Click for larger images

Yes, it’s heavy.

Fancy paint for the time period.

 

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