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

Robert Street  wonders whether this is a  plane once used in the Chippendale workshop?


Two mystery items acquired by Nick White  in a brocante in the Dordogne in June.

 This  "coat-hanger like" balance and the iron pointed tool are from the collection of Ted Wells.

Newsletter editor Richard has these odd pliers...

I'd like to know what this is...

Dan Howison and his neighbours want to identify this thing...

Hugh Thompson wants to know why this chisel is curved and slotted.

Mike Kimpton wants to identify this trade mark.

Stan Shepherd wants to identify this unusual brace.

Tim Matthews wants to know what this is.

Walt Puryear wonders if this was a millstone.

This is a real oddity.

Bernard Drage wants to know what this is hook is for.

Stan Tyrer wants to know more about a Febson Indicator.

Stewart Kingsley wants to know about the maker of these curves.

Brian Read, our Whatsits editor, is unsure about these tools.