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  1. #1
    Senior Arrowheadologist
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    Need help with ID of metal detecting find.

    Need help with ID of metal detecting find.-img_20171204_183241563-jpg

    I have been detecting the site of what was my great grandfather's homestead from the turn of the century. I have one find I cannot identify and I'm hoping the sharp eyes on here will recognize it. It is copper or brass, has fine flutes down the outside, appears to be an outer tube with a piece inside. The pointed end has some rust but I can't tell if the inner piece is actually iron or was just in contact with iron. The center ring is too thin to be for farm use. Doesn't seem decorated enough for jewlery or a watch fob. This one has me stumped.

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  3. #2
    Veteran Hunter
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    I would guess it to be a part of an early mechanical pencil.
    Attached Images Attached Images Need help with ID of metal detecting find.-early-mechanical-pencil-jpg 

  4. #3
    Senior Arrowheadologist
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    Thanks for the tip, some Google searching and you are spot on. Looks like an exact match. Many thanks.Need help with ID of metal detecting find.-il_340x270-898966708_hnc7-jpg

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  6. #4
    Savant Banjo Picker
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokyHill View Post
    I would guess it to be a part of an early mechanical pencil.
    I would never thought of that in a million years! Smoky Hill is "Da Man"!
    Terry (a.k.a. Dances With Dachshunds)

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  8. #5
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    Nice job on the ID! Giving Briman a day off? Jk lol

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  10. #6
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    Wow, I would have never guessed mechanical pencil. Cool find, and cool ID.

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  12. #7
    Kopfjäger
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    Quote Originally Posted by major flaker View Post
    Nice job on the ID! Giving Briman a day off? Jk lol
    I would not have gotten this one easily if at all; props to SmokyHill.

    Happy hunting,
    Briman

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  14. #8
    PhD in Arrowheadology
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    Good call SmokyHill,that one would have stumped me.

  15. #9
    Senior Arrowheadologist
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    It turns out this is actually a pocket watch key. Early watches didnt have a knob to wind by and used a tool like this. I am still grateful to SmokeyHill because his advice led me to others with the same pencil idea. I found a pencil expert today that set me straight. Pretty nostalgic to picture my great grandfather using this to wind his pocket watch.

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  17. #10
    Veteran Hunter
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    Quote Originally Posted by SmokyHill View Post
    I would guess it to be a part of an early mechanical pencil.
    I reserve the right to change my mind, lol.
    A very interesting find SanduskyRiver and I appreciate learning what it actually is.

    I have found several pocket watch keys while metal detecting and they are generally quite simple looking little things. However after reading your last post I did some online searching and yes, that is a very fancy mechanical pocket watch key that you found. Here is the description I found:

    “Pocket watch key marked “JOHN S. BIRCH & CO.”. This is an example of the important invention by John Birch of an adjustable pocket watch key that would work with many different types of pocket watches. It has a spring loaded design and when the button on the end is pushed it opens the jaws on the opposite end to grasp the winding mechanism on a watch. It weighs about 7 grams and measures approximately 1 11/16″ long x 1/4″ in diameter. The barrel has a gilt finish and the jaws are made of steel. It has a central loop that attaches to a chain so it can be worn on a watch chain.” Made in approximately the 1890's.”
    Attached Images Attached Images Need help with ID of metal detecting find.-pocket-watch-key-adjustable-jpg 

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