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What Is This?
updated: Nov 06, 2012, 2:03 PM

By Edhat Subscriber

This strange metal piece is mounted on a kitchen wall in a 100 year old cottage. Can anyone identify it? Our guesses included a possible can opener, match striker, etc. It is definitely kitchen related, owing to the placement in the kitchen. It is about 4 inches tall and mounted at chest height on the wall. Any help identifying this mysterious object is much appreciated!

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Comments in order of when they were received | (reverse order)

 COMMENT 339858P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-06 02:10 PM

Looks like it has some letters or words engraved on it. Did you try Googling those?


 COMMENT 339862 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-06 02:15 PM

I don't know but it looks intriguing. I bet the editors of Cook's Illustrated would love to see this picture. (I am sure they could find out the answer too.)


 COMMENT 339864 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-06 02:19 PM

I believe its the mount for a "swing way" can opener. The old house I grew up in had one.


 COMMENT 339866 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-06 02:20 PM

It's half of a wall mounted can opener. Missing the handle and the cutting bit.


 COMMENT 339869 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-06 02:23 PM

864, thanks for taking me back to my childhood. In the 60's we had a cabin in Canada and it had one of those can openers.


 COMMENT 339884P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-06 02:49 PM

I think my mother still has a can opener like this mounted in her pantry. Her house was built in the 1950's. Not sure when the can opener was added.


 COMMENT 339887 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-06 02:57 PM

Yup. Can opener. It pivots on the shaft and has a pin to fall into the notches to hold it at the angle needed.


 COMMENT 339914 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-06 03:29 PM

Yep. Search ebay or google images for "wall can opener" to see examples.


 FANGIRL agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-06 03:41 PM

Boy am I showing age! I recognized it as a wall mounted swingway can opener right away!


 COMMENT 339988P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-06 07:57 PM

We had one too! Can opener, creepy and hard to clean


 COMMENT 340021 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-07 06:17 AM

Always had one and still do.

No problem cleaning...just take off the can opener and put it in the dishwasher.

The older models worked much better than the present ones. That and the fact that the cans are no longer made with as substantial "ring" around the end where the top is sealed to the vertical sides.

Next thing that will be inquired about will be a dial phone... chuckle! Or even an old desk phone like a candlestick...


 COMMENT 340037P agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-07 07:33 AM

I have an old black dial telephone in a drawer. AT&T let me keep it when they wanted us to replace with touch tone phones. My daughter likes to get it out and play with it, put the big receiver to her ear, wrap the curly cord around her finger, and dial long numbers.

I've never seen a Swingway can opener, so I'm heading to ebay now.


 UPONTHEHILL agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-07 07:47 AM

I remember the swingway from my childhood.


 COMMENT 340047 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-07 08:17 AM

037: hang on to that phone!

during a emergency, when there is no power and both your regular modern cordless landline and your cell phone stop working, you can still plug it into your phone jack and it works! we have one and it's how we stayed in communication with the outside world during the jesusita fire. it's the one reason we have not cancelled our land line.


 COMMENT 340070 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-07 09:15 AM

It's missing the top half, which was a metal or wooden support bar and mounting base for your wet kitchen sink scrub towel or wash clothes. You could move it 180 degrees and it would lock into position for use, or to store up against wall by swinging to end clog in one direction or another. We live in 1880 Victorian which used to have one. Scotty


 COMMENT 340079 agree helpful negative off topic

2012-11-07 09:22 AM

It's a mounting bracket for the Swingway can opener. We had one inside the pantry. It was very modern in the 50's.


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