Mystery thing
May 10, 2017 2:52 PM   Subscribe

Sleuths of Metafilter! I have a mysterious thing I would love help identifying. I have been going through boxes of mementos from my family that I inherited when Mom passed away a few years ago. This object was carefully stored in a box of other random things (i.e. there was no really clue by context). It could be related to any one of 3 or 4 ancestors.

The first possibility is my father who was a gas pipeline engineer. He kept some valves and other more easily identifiable items so I know he like to keep souveniers. My grandfather on his side was a mining engineer. My grandfather on my mother's side ran the wreck retrieval crew for the Southern Pacific railroad. And, his son was stationed in the Aleutians during WWII where they stored all sorts of military equipment. This could be related to any one of them or none. The object is a little over 10" long, weighs 2.12lbs and the narrow bit appears to be brass. As you can see by all the threads and openings it is a part of something larger. Any ideas?
posted by agatha_magatha to Grab Bag (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Does the hole in the brass tip connect to the angled threaded socket near the other end?
posted by aubilenon at 3:37 PM on May 10

Some sort of pressure regulator?
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 3:39 PM on May 10

Looks like a thermowell.
posted by bajema at 3:55 PM on May 10

It looks to me like part of a precision measuring device. A search for ball end gage led me to this.
posted by Bruce H. at 4:03 PM on May 10

Mr. MT suggests that it's a large bullet seating die stem, probably 30mm+.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:24 PM on May 10

I second aubilenon's question—If the angled threaded socket connects to the hole in the tip, this seems like it might be some kind of fuel or chemical injector. Screw it in to a cylinder head, using some tool that seats in the slot at the end. Attach a hose through the socket, and inject fuel or other chemicals into the cylinder or pipeline through the tip. Doing an image search on various combinations of fuel/chemical/injector/industrial/pipeline/vintage didn't come up with anything that looks like this, though. I don't suppose there are any markings on it?
posted by ejs at 6:50 PM on May 10

It does appear that there is a small hole in each of the angled sockets on the sides of the "base". I suppose I could drop a thread or wire through the hole in the brass tip and see if it comes out below...

No markings on it that I can find.

Thank you for your suggestions!
posted by agatha_magatha at 7:35 PM on May 10

Weird question but does it smell of anything that you can discern, beyond the smell that an old lump of metal has? Gun oil, for instance?
posted by turbid dahlia at 8:44 PM on May 10

OK, I entirely missed the hole in the tip. I withdraw my suggestion and join with those suggesting it's some kind of injector.
posted by Bruce H. at 9:36 PM on May 10

Here's a patent for a chemical injector that looks pretty similar.
posted by sagwalla at 1:33 AM on May 11

I missed the hole on the tip as well. I agree that it is some sort of injection quill.
posted by bajema at 8:15 AM on May 11

No smell (except the metal smell of the brass and the base). I think an injector of some kind seems to be where this is heading. Thank you all!
posted by agatha_magatha at 4:08 PM on May 11 [1 favorite]

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