[I added an update at the bottom of this post!]
Today I ran across a couple of photos of an unidentified piece of hardware on an amazing photography blog – Shorpy.com. The site contains thousands of high definition photos, most from between 1850 and 1950. The images are so detailed I could explore them for hours. But back to reality…
There are two photos on the site that include a piece of hardware that I’ve never seen in person (the piece of hardware beside the closer). I did see the bottom portion still attached to a door somewhere in my travels, but I didn’t know what it was for. If you know, tell me! If you don’t know, send this post to someone who might.
Here are the photos, and the close-ups are below them. You can click on either of the complete images to view them full size on Shorpy.com.
UPDATE: Although quite a few people thought this was some type of horn or door chime, I received several comments and lots of emails that confirmed that it is a “snugger,” (not to be confused with a Snuggie, as noted by @SurveillanceCow). The closer in the photos is just a spring – nothing to control the door. The snugger assisted with the latching portion of the closing cycle.
I received the first comment from Jess the Door Doctor, and subsequent comments and emails from others including Donald and Liz at Liz’s Antique Hardware, and Maud Eastwood, the author of 150 Years of Builders’ Hardware: Forms, Use & Lore, and Antique Builders’ Hardware, Knobs & Accessories.
Best of all, one of my own team-mates, John Gant, has been holding out on me. He knew where some of these “snuggers” were installed on classroom doors in a school that’s being renovated. I asked if he could get me one, and with one email to the architect I’ve been promised a snugger of my very own.
According to my stats for yesterday and today, you dig antique hardware! I think I should start including periodic posts on it!