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Can You Guess What These Antique Objects Were Used For?

Kids these days might not know a floppy disk from a Walkman, but it’s up to you to guess what these vintage tools did.

Can-You-Guess-What-These-Antique-Objects-Were-Used-ForUnkas Photo/Shutterstock

Toy turtle?

This is actually a vintage hand drill, often known as an “eggbeater drill” because its handles are similar to the one on the kitchen tool. Check out these expert tips for scoring the best deal on antiques.

Can-You-Guess-What-These-Antique-Objects-Were-Used-ForMichal Ninger/Shutterstock

Knick-knack holder?

The top of this antique contraption was used for grinding coffee beans, and the grounds would fall into the drawer below.

Can-You-Guess-What-These-Antique-Objects-Were-Used-ForRak kaa/Shutterstock

Bear trap?

This electricity-free iron would have been filled with hot coals to smooth out wrinkles.


Pencil sharpener?

Old meat grinders clamped to the table then ground meat—and vegetables and nuts, depending on the design. Don’t miss these surprisingly valuable antiques that could be hiding in your home.

Can-You-Guess-What-These-Antique-Objects-Were-Used-ForM.F.A.M. Museum/Shutterstock


This antique object was a sink for hairdressers. The water would drain through holes in the bowl.

Can-You-Guess-What-These-Antique-Objects-Were-Used-ForM.F.A.M. Museum/Shutterstock


Retro tools called theodolites measured angles when surveying land. Modern versions use GPS technology for more accurate readings. For another fun test of your visual puzzle skills, see if you can identify everyday objects based on their close-up pictures.

Can-You-Guess-What-These-Antique-Objects-Were-Used-ForM.F.A.M. Museum/Shutterstock


Hearing aid, ear trumpet, ear horn—call it what you want, this object would let sound in from the bell to the piece in the ear, amplifying noise for the hard of hearing.

Can-You-Guess-What-These-Antique-Objects-Were-Used-ForM.F.A.M. Museum/Shutterstock


This scary-looking contraption is an antique hairdressing hood, used for drying and setting a new ’do. Continue your journey back in time with this look at what famous landmarks looked like 100 years ago.

Can-You-Guess-What-These-Antique-Objects-Were-Used-ForM.F.A.M. Museum/Shutterstock


Long before handheld calculators were invented in 1967, mechanical desktop calculators were used to crunch numbers.

Can-You-Guess-What-These-Antique-Objects-Were-Used-ForM.F.A.M. Museum/Shutterstock


This vintage kitchen tool had one specific purpose: grabbing sugar cubes for tea or coffee. Next, get a look at what 14 everyday objects looked like 100 years ago.

Marissa Laliberte
Marissa Laliberte-Simonian is a London-based associate editor with the global promotions team at WebMD’s and was previously a staff writer for Reader's Digest. Her work has also appeared in Business Insider, Parents magazine, CreakyJoints, and the Baltimore Sun. You can find her on Instagram @marissasimonian.

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