Thursday, July 28, 2011

What is it?

Seller's description:
A cabinet card showing an odd mechanical device of undetermined purpose. The words ‘Belegt’ and ‘Frei’ above and below the knobs numbered 1 to 4 translate as ‘Occupied’ and ‘Free’. An engraved metal plate near the foot of the device identifies the Gustav Binter Company of Munich, who are further identified by a wetstamp on the reverse of the mount as a ‘mechanische Werkstätte’ [mechanical workshop]. Below this there’s a patent number.

Available here.


MaggieL said...

Google Books lists a patent by Gustav Binter for a device for remotely indicating water level. Given that, along with "Occupied" and "Free", I suspect it's a panel for a four-stall loo, showing which stalls are occupied and which tanks are filled and ready to flush.

MaggieL said...

They must have rolled back the internet. I posted a comment here and on G+ guessing that -- since the maker of the device matches the name on a patent for a remote water level indicator, along with "Occupied" and "Free"--suggests it's for a four-stall public bathroom to indicate the availability and flush-tank levels for each stall.

Joey said...

I love how they crafted something so utilitarian. Great research Maggie! Thanks!