Mystery Object 456: Wonder Wheel


Two grooves


Size: Very Large Pizza

Recorded: August, 2017

Found: Texas, United States

Circa:  19th century?

Made: United States (probably)

Material: Wood

Status: Unknown

Thanks to Susan Hurst for submitting this item!


Susan found this object in a collection of things, and she’s wondering what it is. Can you help?


It’s a solid piece of wood, with a groove on the outside, and a smaller piece of wood that also has a groove. They are attached by three flat head screws, which are an indicator of age (pre-WW2 at any rate.)

The two grooves may have been for belts, and if so, this object would serve as a reducer gear, where speed was changed (faster or slower, depending on how it was hooked up.) The hole in the middle could have been attached to an axle or spindle.

Is this a piece of a sewing machine? A washing machine?

Here’s a link to a modern project using something very similar.

What say you?

Update: found this image in our archives. Could it be related? 

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

Click for larger images:

Not a brake rotor!

What went in that hole?


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