Mystery Scissor Thing
June 12, 2007 12:14 PM   Subscribe

What is this thing?

My uncle inherited a strange collection of old metal devices from his mother. It looks like she went to antique stores, or garage sales and bought every weird looking metal thing she could get her hands on. We were able to determine what a lot of them were, but this one baffled us.

It operates like a pair of scissors, but the hinge is spring-loaded to stay closed. On one side of the scissors, there is a hollow box with one side open. There is also a large pointed part coming off of that, much like if it actually was a pair of scissors. On the other side, is a flat part, like the missing side of the box was taken off and welded there. When it's closed, the flat part fits inside the box flush against the back.

Even though it operates much like scissors, it doesn't seem like it was intended to cut anything.

We didn't have much time to look through everything and get pictures, so this is the only mysterious thing that I've got. I told my uncle that I would see if the power of the internet could determine what is was.
posted by Bizarro to Grab Bag (8 answers total)
Best answer: It's an antique candle snuffer. I have one too.
posted by iconomy at 12:21 PM on June 12, 2007

It's a wick trimmer, for the maintenance of candles.
posted by Chrischris at 12:21 PM on June 12, 2007

Best answer: Pretty sure it's a candle snuffer. There are a few ways to do this, but this type is called "snuffer scissors"
posted by jessamyn at 12:25 PM on June 12, 2007

I was hoping it was a debeaker. Too bad.
posted by GuyZero at 12:26 PM on June 12, 2007 [1 favorite]

oooh, I was right! candle snuffer.
posted by unSane at 12:31 PM on June 12, 2007

Response by poster: Thanks a ton iconomy and jessamyn. You were mighty quick.
posted by Bizarro at 12:44 PM on June 12, 2007

Actually, the main purpose of that device is wick trimming. You don't need scissor action to snuff a candle. The box type bit is to catch the wick bits.
posted by oneirodynia at 2:17 PM on June 12, 2007

Totally sweet.
posted by ageispolis at 4:58 PM on June 12, 2007

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