Last week

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - HOME -

LAST week’s What Is It? item has caused much de­bate both within and out­side the of­fice.

The owner of the New Nor­folk an­tique shop where the ob­ject was pho­tographed in­sists it’s an 1840’s cap­stan winch.

He claims the ob­ject, into which tim­ber poles were in­serted into the holes was used like a winch to wind up ropes and so forth.

How­ever, de­spite this ex­pla­na­tion ev­ery­one who wrote in – and this time there were more than 50, in­clud­ing Keith Brown who was the quick­est – all think it’s the cen­tre hub of a cart­wheel.

So we checked with the cu­ra­tor of the Mar­itime Mu­seum who wasn’t ab­so­lutely sure but said if she had to guess it would be a cart­wheel hub. Her rea­son­ing was – cap­stans need to be well seated and there­fore would be ex­pected to have a wider base than top and not be sym­met­ri­cal top and bot­tom as this one would be, if it was used as a cap­stan.

Who would’ve thought such a small thing could cause such con­tro­versy! And al­though we’ve run out of room to print ev­ery­one’s names who wrote in this time, we do ap­pre­ci­ate your feed­back and would es­pe­cially love to hear from any­one who has any quirky ob­jects we could in­clude as our next mys­tery item.

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