The E.A. Arnim Museum and Archives in Flatonia, Texas, has some unusual artifacts. Here are some of curator Judy Pate’s favorites and one that she needs your help to identify.

How many of the 12 antiques pictured in this story do you recognize? The answers appear further down in the post. Let us know if you agree or have another theory!

1. What’s this round crock-like item and how was it used?
2. Judy has it on good authority that the tool in the center was found in a blacksmith’s shop.
3. During U.S. Prohibition, 1920-1933, federal agents called revenuers left several ax marks on this old Central Texas beauty.
4. These two contraptions with copper attachments on the bottom were handy on washdays.
5. General store merchants used this practical and decorative gadget to display some of their wares.
6. This tool came in handy back in the day when flat tires were all too common.
7. These three models, one of which is stamped 1875, are appliances that seamstresses used.
8. Several hints in the photo point to the purpose of this iron device mounted on a slab of wood.
Top view
Bottom view
9. This cast-iron tool also might have been found in a blacksmith’s shop. (The museum painted the white identification numbers on the bottom.)
10. Before running water was commonplace in the country, this piece of equipment served an important purpose.

Bonus artifact identification*

At the top of this blog, Judy is holding a device from Flatonia’s Arnim and Lane Store that was established in 1886. The item was found in the hardware section. What is it?

The identity of the 11 antiques above

1. Bed warmer
2. Blacksmith’s form to make square nails
3. Still for cooking homebrew
4. Vigorous use of this dasher on soiled clothing in a tub of wash water loosened dirt
5. A store display buggy whip holder later repurposed as a broom and mop holder
6. Vulcanizer used to fix car tires
7. Ruffle makers
8. Bottle capper
9. Wagon spoke end trimmer
10. Water pump

* Bonus artifact: tongs used to pick nails out of a wooden keg in a general store

An unsolved mystery

Give yourself five bonus points if you can identify the wooden handled contraption below that closes when it is turned upside down and opens when it is held right side up. Judy has never seen anything quite like it.


How did you do?

1-3 answers correct: You might want to make a few more museum visits.

4-7 answers correct: You’ve been around awhile, haven’t you?

8-11 answers correct: You’re good, very good!

(Don’t forget; add 5 bonus points if you know what the artifact above is and how it was used.) We look forward to your observations and memories about the thingamajigs we’ve shared. Please click on the comment button at the end of the post to tell us what you think.

And there’s more

Interior of the main building
Artifacts in the barn

Explore the E.A. Arnim Museum yourself:

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You might also enjoy some of my other posts about rural Texas life:

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