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

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