Throughout its history, TATHS has always provided a service to identify puzzling old tools. Queries can come from anyone - museum curators, collectors, or someone clearing out a relative's shed. Whatever the source, TATHS members like the challenge of identifying and explaining mystery objects! These "Whatsits" have been published in our quarterly newsletter - and still will be - but this section of the website will feature a selection of them, generally with bigger pictures than we can print in the newsletter. If you have any answers, or just guesses that might be helpful, you can add them in the comments. To submit a query, take some photos and email them with your question to our Queries Editor, Brian Read, at

Ted Cole is looking for information on this SAM COX plane that's in his  collection. He thinks it is an early plane maker from  Bristol.

Dru Muskovin writes from Crab Tree Farm in Lake Bluff, Illinois, U.S.A to ask for our help.

Steve Rogers from New Jersey is anxious to track down a maker's mark.

Eveline van Breemen from the North Lincolnshire Museum Service Would like to confirm (or deny) that the item in the attached photographs is a floor board cramp. She is concerned that it may have been misclassified.

France Smyth, documentalist at the Madawaska Historical Museum, is looking for more information about the makers of antique bits marked "Sheffield".

John Morrison recently bought this moulding plane. But it is not what it seems...

Bob Evans would be grateful if anyone could identify this wood found as part of the restoration work on the Newport Transporter Bridge. 

Harry Dodd  would very much appreciate any insights into the purpose and mode of operation of this tool. At first sight, it appears to be for shaving or trimming narrow strips of something flexible but, as you will see, close examination raises more questions than answers.

Paul Sillitoe would be grateful for  help to  identify this  object which is some form of hand tool.

Philippa Harvey has a friend who would like to know what this tool is.

Ted Coles has a query about his old tool chest.

Stuart Carey is making an inventory of the Farm Building at Hornsea Museum.

Bernard Drage asks whether any  member can throw any light on this early Elwell axe head, which he has re-hafted and renovated.

An interesting exchange on Facebook which may be of wider interest to TATHS members


Following a recent visit  to the hard working volunteers at Gunton Hall Water Saw Mill, Mike  Swann  is trying to identify some  brass bars he has acquired.

A Query from one of our new members, John Weston