Another Trip to the What-not Drawer: We Have the Answer

Monday, October 17, 2016 - by Harmon Jolley
It's rare and rusty.  These have been identified as brushes from an electric motor.
It's rare and rusty. These have been identified as brushes from an electric motor.
- photo by Harmon Jolley


The item has been determined to be a vintage set of pipe thread dies made by the Toledo Pipe Threading Machine Company.  The ridges on the dies cut threads into metal pipe for joining with a fitting.

In my previous Memories article (, I shared how I dared to open a what-not drawer to review its contents.   Among the items found were a few scenic slide viewers, those plastic portals into picturesque places.  I asked readers who had similar items to e-mail me at and share what the scenes were.  So far, there have been no responses.

Undaunted by the low numbers of the poll, I again venture into my what-not drawer for an item that was once in my father’s what-not drawer.  Accompanying this article are a couple of photographs of the what-is-it from the what-not drawer.

The artifact measures approximately 2 inches by 3 inches.  There are four pieces of steel, each with a hole drilled precisely near one end.  The hole allows the pieces of steel to be held together by something akin to a large baby pin.  One end of each steel piece has ridges, while the other has a small curved notch.

Each piece of steel has the words “TRADE” and “MARK” on either side of a “T” surrounded by a circle surrounded by a pentagon.  I searched the Web, and could not find any information on this type of trademark.

Some clues to this item are that among the jobs that my father held were store manager of a Home Store grocery, machinist and HVAC/electrician at Combustion Engineering, U.S. Navy in World War II, fireman for 25 years with the Chattanooga Fire Department, and home builder/repairman.  Any of those jobs could have involved an item which was connected to trademarks.

My dad also loved to find fasteners and other items on parking lots, and save them in coffee cans or in his work desk.  The latter is where the item in question was once stored.  It is possible that the what-not item was one of his previous finds while walking across a parking lot to his vehicle.

If you can identify the item, please send me an e-mail at  I’ll post some of the responses, assuming that they are greater in number than those for the scenic slide viewer.

The ends of the steel pieces have ridges.
The ends of the steel pieces have ridges.
- Photo2 by Harmon Jolley

Signal Mountain Genealogical Society Meets Nov. 6

The Signal Mountain Genealogical Society will meet at 1 p.m. on  Tuesday, Nov. 6 , at the Signal Mountain Public Library.  The speaker for the day will be Linda Mines, a well-known historian within the Chattanooga area and the official historian for Chattanooga and Hamilton County.  She is the First Vice-Regent of the Chief John Ross Chapter of the Daughters ... (click for more)

What Was That Stone Arch Halfway Up Lookout Mountain?

As a child in the early- to mid-70s the majority of our summer vacations were to Tennessee - a stop in Chattanooga then on to Gatlinburg.  We always visited the Incline, Ruby Falls and Rock City.    On the way up Lookout Mountain, I’m not sure of the road, there was a stone/cement type monument along the roadway with what looked to be a tongue sticking out ... (click for more)

City "Moves Away" From $4 Million Light Show On Walnut Street Bridge

The city is no longer pursuing a plan for a $4,050,000 light show on the Walnut Street Bridge. Dennis Malone, assistant city engineer, told City Council members on Tuesday, "We have moved away from that project." The council had earlier pulled capital funding that had been proposed for the "Ripples of Light" on the historic "walking bridge" that dates to 1891. “Ripples ... (click for more)

Developer Of Publix Grocery At St. Elmo To Go Before Variance Board

The developer of a planned Publix grocery in St. Elmo will go before the City Board of Zoning Appeals on Nov. 7 seeking three variances. Mike Price of MAP Engineers said the grocery has been working with community members to try to come up with an acceptable plan for the site where the former Mt. Vernon Restaurant and Pizza Hut are located. There has been controversy over ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Drivers, Please, Please Slow Down

It is  heart wrenching  to see all of these automobile accident deaths in Chattanooga. Two weeks ago six people lost their lives. Last week two lost their lives and now this week we have already had four deaths on our highways. The major factor in these accidents is speed. The faster you go the less time you have to react to a situation on the roadway. Plus ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Vols: ‘Don’t Let Up’

The idea was hatched a couple of years ago. Some Tennessee football fanatic had gotten wind that an Oklahoma player had documented his baptism to havoc inside Neyland Stadium. Offensive lineman Ty Darlington was part of that 2015 double-overtime slugfest against the Vols and, afterwards, remembered OU’s 34-27 win – after being down by 17 points earlier – was an absolute “dissertation” ... (click for more)