A prickly conundrum

What the hell is it?

I don’t even know which way is up?

A spiky problem

A spiky problem

The longer I work in a museum the less I get befuddled. Without realising I now understand the uses of a variety of strange objects and have actually been quite good at guessing the uses of ones I don’t recognise. But this?! This has got me quite stumped. After much deliberation I came up with a few suggestions. It didn’t take long for the suggestions to start becoming ridiculous.

Maybe something used in the cotton industry to seperate threads?

Like the thumb tack on the seat joke, but more devastating?

A Victorian massager?

...and here's one I made earlier!

…and here’s one I made earlier!

It is actually a tea-cake pricker. It would be used to punch holes in tea-cakes. Obviously, there would be less rust on the nails when it was in it’s prime but it’s still a smart, cheap and effective method. To add to it’s practicality, you can even use it on your biccies!

Baking is now a huge hobby. But if you needed a baking implement like this would you buy a fancy one with pretty flowers on or go in the garage and stick two pieces of wood together with 8 nails sticking out? This object makes you realise that in this day we can make life a lot more complicated then it needs to be.

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Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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