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Quiz 2


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Unfortunately, I'm usually so focused on major issues in the old buildings that I rarely make the effort to record the interesting, abandoned and forgotten elements that were once important features to the earlier occupants.

That being said, here's another one that might generate some creative responses:

http://uploads/inspecthistoric/200632520548_whatsit.JPG%20

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Yeah, Jerry,

A main panel was what I was eluding to with "fusible links" like an automobile has instead of the screw in fuses we're used to seeing. I was guessing that those little stretches of wire or material between the screws are the "fusible links"

I just threw the butler call box thing in there because I remember seeing at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, TN that all 40-some bedrooms had a button that lit a light in the kitchen and any guest could have something brought to their room at any hour. It was a rather elaborate system for its day. If you've never done that tour or the houses in Newport, it's amazing seeing how the Rich and famous lived back then. They had true class. The Vanderbilt libraries were to die for! 1000s of books along with sunken pit reading areas and study rooms.

The foyer at the Breakers, went three or four stories up and almost every room on every floor opened to a balcony hallway overlooking the foyer. The entire foyer and the circular stairway was all cut and dressed stone. All the stone columns supporting the balcony were round on the foyer side and squared on the balcony side. Unbelievable Architecture and money.

I only saw three of the houses in Newport and that was about 12 years ago. I hope to go back and see more. I finally made it to see Biltmore three years ago.

The house had 43 bathrooms and most guests still preferred to use a chamber pot because they were not familiar with and afraid of the bathrooms.

In fact, I recall hearing that things were so depressed back then that if you were on the Vanderbilt staff in any capacity, you were approaching "upper crust".

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Yeah,

I think the object in rhe left end of the box is definitely a buzzer of some sort, it's just a question of what sort.

I used to play in the Spingarn mansion at Troutbeck in Amenia, NY as a kid. It had been abandoned for decades at the time. 4 story high, real-timbered Tudor with telephones and wait staff buzzers in every room plus dumbwaiters and an elevator. There were gizmos like that all over the place in the basement. I didn't touch 'em 'cuz I had no idea what they did and I didn't want to get fried.

The place is a $1,000 a night B & B and weekend conference center now. Who'd a thunk it?

Jeesh Bill, you must go through every day just steeped in nostalgia!

ONE TEAM - ONE FIGHT!!!

Mike

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I’m going out on a limb with this, but it looks like a solenoid activates a plunger that indirectly turns a wooden camshaft. Maybe the shaft is notched in different configurations under what appears to be metal contactors? It looks like the contactors have little adjustment screws for fine tuning.

I don’t think the links between the terminals are fusible links, since they’re in contact with the wooden case, plus it sure looks like a low voltage system.

It looks like there’s a modern wire nut at the top right. What’s up with that?

As to what it is, my very generic answer is some kind of signal system. Yeah, I sure didn’t go out on a limb with THAT answer.

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Hi,

I think the thingy on the left is definitely a solenoid that rotates that wood cam 90° and connects/disconnects those contactors, I just can't imagine what for. The only thing I am sure of is that it's going to be another one of those things I'll feel like an idiot about.

OT - OF!!!

Mike

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I think you're on to something there Joe, but I don't see anything to make it actually "sequence" More it it looks as if atop each fuse is a contact and a tang. So, it appears more to be a simple all circuits on or off device via the shaft that runs the length of the box. To the left at the top it almost looks like a filter more than a coil? and below it kinda looks similar to an automobile generator... so... I'm lost other than the fuses, contacts and tangs. Maybe it turns lights on and off rhythmically for a large sign or something. Seeing the equipment to the left side better would help, but I've stared at it and adjusted the photo quality all I can. I'm done on this one.

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Well, you're a mechanic, Chad. (a shade tree variety here back when electronic ignition, deceleration valves and anti-stall dashpots were about as complicated as it got.) Doesn't that look like a filter top left? I know it makes more sense for it to be a coil, but it doesn't look like one. I can't make out any windings. I can't make heads or tails of the whole assembly on the left side. Wish I could get closer...

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It's a coil. There's a shellaced paper wrap around the windings. It's definitely a solenoid or activator of some sort and it's rotating a cam back and forth that is controlling those contactors. The only question is ....for what? Marquee for an old movie theater?

OT - OF!!!

M.

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