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A Second "What in the World is it?"

Can you identify this second mystery item from the collection of the Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society?

Although an elderly Millburn resident came to the museum a few years ago and identified - and said he, too, had a pair of - the objects in last week's What in the World is it? post, they were apparently a mystery to Patch readers. The small pair of wire items were used, as seen in the 1931 ad here, to stop a baby or toddler from sucking his or her thumbs. A ribbon would have been tied through the bottom of them and around the baby's wrist. 

A Baby Alice thumb guard similar to the one in the ad became an important clue in the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby, as one was found by the baby's nurse in the driveway, close to the house. The nurse testified that in order to get the thumb guard off the baby, the baby's sleeper garment would have had to be removed first. From that they suggested that the baby had already been murdered right away and the sleeper removed, so it could be sent with a ransom note, as proof that the note-sender had the baby.

This week's item may be more familiar to some Patch readers, as it was in many homes and can sometimes still be found rolling around in a desk drawer. It is 3 inches long and entirely plastic.

We will use this blog to periodically highlight unusual objects in the Millburn-Short Hills Historical Society Museum’s collection. The objects will be posted with only minimal information, so we encourage you to guess what the object is or what its purpose was. The following week, information about the object will be revealed and a new object will be posted again soon afterwards.

The first person with a correct guess will receive a brand new, custom black Sharpie pen marked with a flag and "Happy July Fourth; Millburn N.J." 

The winning comment will be posted along with additional information about the object the following week. The winner may contact us at mshhs@comcast.net to let us know whether to mail the pen or expect a visit to the museum (feel free to pick it up).

[Many thanks to Millburn High School volunteer Anna Gracey for scanning the objects and composing this introduction.]

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Susan Stern May 04, 2012 at 05:38 PM
It was for dialing the phone when your nails were wet after a manicure. S Stern

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