Mystery Object 464: Wobbly Wheels

The angle is for comfort.

Size: Hot Dog

Recorded: December, 2017

Found: California, USA

Circa:  Mid-20th Century

Made: USA (possibly)

Material: Wood, Steel

Status: Known

Thanks to Noël Dilks for submitting this item!

Some problems of daily life have countless solutions. This is one. For this particular problem, there are endless solutions, some going back thousands of years. This particular problem has always had an element of danger, and this solution was supposed to be easy, durable, and safe. This was designed mostly for women, but that was a matter of fashion. Men would have also used this.

It was designed to make something else be the way it was when it was new. The holes on the tabs allowed it to be screwed down, at which point you could remove the handle. The wheels roll, and are a bit wobbly. They’re very loose, and not attached to each other. It’s possible to roll one individually. While in use, they don’t roll very much.

You can buy these new today, along with a variety of other solutions, but perhaps the most common solution to this un-revealed problem is our disposable culture.

Note: I’ve owned a few of these, but I always used them wrong! The video in the answer demonstrates correct usage.



It’s an Ekco knife sharpener. You can see a modern version here. It sharpens knives as they’re drawn through the notch with a scissor-like action between the overlapping discs. Here’s a video demonstrating its use (and effects).




Another view.

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