Mystery Object 454: Field Find

Size 11.

Size: Frisbee

Recorded: July, 2017

Found: Opelika, Alabama

Circa:  ?

Made: Unknown

Material: Cast Iron

Status: Unknown

An e-mail showed up, and it read:
“Hoping you might be able to help with this mystery. Found digging in the back yard in Opelika Alabama.

Cast iron and weighs 10-15lb. Note the toe of my size 11 croc in one of the pictures for size of the object.

Any help would be great.

Thanks in advance.”

What we know:

  • Opelika is an interesting place. From Wikipedia: “Frequent gunfire in the street by intoxicated patrons resulted in railroads directing their passengers to duck beneath the windows when their trains passed through the town.”
  • There’s a railroad, lots of industry, and lots of big box retail.
  • This object looks like it was designed to hang off of a platform or rail. You can see how a beam or plate could fit into the bracket, and the “wheel” part would either hang down (probably) or stand up.
  • The hole in the middle may have been used to attach it to another piece.
  • It could also be a stand for holding something, such as a sign.
  • The wheel shape is probably to save material: the cutouts reduced weight without reducing strength very much.

Update: two main line of thought have emerged. The first is that it’s for bending something, like pipe or rail. You’d stand on the wagon wheel part and bend something with the other end. No examples found yet, though.

The other idea is that it’s a piece of a farm implement like a hay baler, and the bracket is meant to allow it slide on a rail.

What do you think? Half of a pulley? Piece of a hay trolley? Some sort of rail equipment? Let us know at jeff@collegeofcuriosity.com!

 

 

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

The back or possibly in inside.

 

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2 Comments

  1. How about part of a gear setup? If it were turned by an axle through the center hole, the 3 prongs could be used to guide a wire, cable of strap around something. So the wheel turns, and drags a wire around something.
    Don’t know why the wheel shape, except it may have been part of a fixture.

    Non-turning wheels are an enigma.

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