TIGHAR

Amelia Earhart Search Forum => Artifact Analysis => Topic started by: Brad Beeching on February 24, 2011, 11:31:00 AM

Title: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Brad Beeching on February 24, 2011, 11:31:00 AM
Have these two artifacts (http://tighar.org/wiki/2-6-S-03a_and_2-6-S-03b) been identified? I read that the current thinking was that they may be from a sextant box? What about a small suitcase? Some of the other artifacts found are thought to have come from cosmetic and toilet items, such as the odd shaped bottle fragments, compact case fragments, mirror shards etc. etc. Is there any documentation as to what AE might have stored these items in, such as a small case or a small flight bag? A flight bag may also explain the zipper fragments as well.

Just a thought...

Gums
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on February 24, 2011, 02:08:03 PM
Have these two artifacts (http://tighar.org/wiki/2-6-S-03a_and_2-6-S-03b) been identified?

The two artifacts in question (known to their friends as "gidgies"):

(http://tighar.org/aw/mediawiki/images/6/61/2_6_S_03a_01.jpg)

(http://tighar.org/aw/mediawiki/images/5/51/2_6_S_03b_01.jpg)

They have not been identified.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Bruce Thomas on February 24, 2011, 02:28:12 PM
... and you can read what little is known about the gidgies (including a link to the article in an old issue of TIGHAR Tracks) by clicking here (http://tighar.org/wiki/Gidgies).
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Brad Beeching on February 24, 2011, 03:40:02 PM
I have seen items simular to these before and have been racking my brain trying to remember just where I've seen them. I used to work at a furniture auction house years ago and we would get in antique steamer trunks, suitcases and other such items from all over the British Isles. But I keep coming back to a suitcase, so I was hoping to find out if anyone knew what AE might have kept her unmentionable items in? A picture of the ointment bottles, compact, etc and a small travel case keep floating around in my minds eye, so I was going to look in some of the shops we have in the area to see if there are items like the "Gidgies" in a period suitcase or trunk. I seem to remember the shape in conjunction with a false bottom or a panel inside a case. The "Gidgies" remind me of the little swivel locks that held the panel in place.

Gums
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Walter Runck on February 24, 2011, 08:42:51 PM
The serrations remind me of a clasp used to hold an elastic strap in a garment bag, but whenever I try to orient the gidgie into something useful, the geometry doesn't work out.  The teeth are on the wrong end, the screw is in the wrong hole, the bend doesn't belong, etc.  More frustrating than golf.

At first they struck me as something used to hang a picture on a wall where you level the picture by hanging the gidgie on a nail and picking the right notch for balance, but I think the luggage idea makes a lot more sense.

Didn't she ditch her suitcase at Lae and ship it home?  Seems to me she had a couple of nights on the road left and might have kept a small bag of some sort.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Jeff Victor Hayden on February 08, 2012, 07:01:17 AM
Just a thought but, while examining these 2 artifacts last night my wife, who is from South East Asia, said that they are from a home made fish de-scaler. She remembers her mother using similar home made versions, bits of worked metal screwed and nailed to wood, see pics below of home made versus modern.
http://tighar.org/wiki/2-6-S-03a_and_2-6-S-03b (http://tighar.org/wiki/2-6-S-03a_and_2-6-S-03b)
(http://)
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on February 08, 2012, 08:35:28 AM
Just a thought but, while examining these 2 artifacts last night my wife, who is from South East Asia, said that they are from a home made fish de-scaler. She remembers her mother using similar home made versions, bits of worked metal screwed and nailed to wood, see pics below of home made versus modern.

That's a great idea--best yet, I think.

Our gidgies seem to be on a much smaller scale.

Perhaps they were back-scratchers.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: James G. Stoveken on February 08, 2012, 03:54:54 PM
Our gidgies seem to be on a much smaller scale.

Must be for smaller fish.   ::)
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Jeff Victor Hayden on February 10, 2012, 08:11:26 AM
Our gidgies seem to be on a much smaller scale.

Must be for smaller fish.   ::)
[/quote
Yes, I noticed that but, in the first pic I posted James they use a row of them to give the required size. Did you notice that in the first pic it is made from bottle tops, how ingenious is that! Use stuff you find lying about on the ground is the way to survive and, I wouldn't be at all surprised if the Gilbertese Islands settlers did just that. fishing lines from aircraft cables, combs from aluminium bits of aircraft, a cottage industry at it's best. Years ago I recall seeing a hooch made from empty beer cans in S E Asia, brilliant!
Jeff
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: robin deatherage on July 08, 2012, 06:53:19 PM
(https://encrypted-tbn1.google.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRZ0fu-Xlt5xPNV-GjqY4V_Mr3LLres6QYgVjh9dZE_mguK1s9PqA) These are widely known as BODY MOLDING CLIPS,, The hole would have had a strong wire threw it bent to fit under the Chrome or Alluminum Trim Moulding inside a thin valley similar to a windshield wiper blade. The photo is a later version of the one pictured with the penny,, it would have been mounted flat on a chrome cover around possibly a windshield trim used to keep weather out from where the windshild glass meet's the cowling on cars--aircraft but never heard of one used on a boat unless used on a special made yacht. The latter would be a wall base trim molding clip which would have been screwed into a floor up against the wall and base trim would have snapped over it and locked into place by the teeth at top into a slotted groove inside the chrome or alluminum molding or trim,,,,the hieghth of placement would have been slightly higher than the bent trim that snapped over it with the trim on the floor or base and the teeth slightly above the trim edge to allow it to be snapped solidly into place.  HOPE THIS HELPS,,,The older automobiles had the under the side-moulding and on the windshields,,aircraft would have used them too seal chrome covers over the windshield cowlings to keep weather out of the gap between the windshield cowling and the glass its-self.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Chris Johnson on July 09, 2012, 06:07:55 AM
Someone else suggested the said same thing in this thread Can you explain.... (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,17.60.html) -- top post with attachment.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Derek Graham on July 15, 2012, 10:44:52 AM
Maybe parts of a homemade coconut scraper?

(http://culinarysupplies.org/images/Coconut%20grater%20twin%20tips.gif)

(http://culinarysupplies.org/images/Coconut%20Grater%20Table%20Top.jpg)

(http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3334/3190103177_2bd7ceefdb_z.jpg)

(http://australianmuseum.net.au/Uploads/Images/16527/iE010000b_big.jpg)
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Jeff Victor Hayden on August 31, 2013, 08:45:31 AM
Could well be a homemade coconut scaper Derek. I sent the images of the two artifacts over to the in-laws in Cagayan-de-oro and they said that's most likely what they were used for. Screwed to a short length of wood, one at either end. They sent me one of their home made ones. Now, the mother in law is 85 years old and she's had this since she can't remember when. Here's some images of said item, notice the similarities.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: John Ousterhout on May 14, 2014, 11:10:25 AM
Here's something similar I found today while working in the garden.  It's used to prevent rotation of an adjuster, not that I'm suggesting the gidgies were from clippers, but rather that they might have locked something from rotation in similar fashion.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Ric Gillespie on May 15, 2014, 02:30:08 PM
Here's something similar I found today while working in the garden.  It's used to prevent rotation of an adjuster, not that I'm suggesting the gidgies were from clippers, but rather that they might have locked something from rotation in similar fashion.

The screw is a wood screw so the mechanism was mounted on wood.  The mechanism probably rotated around the screw. The second hole in each gidgie may have been for a pin to lock the gidgie in place when rotation was not desired.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Tim Collins on May 17, 2014, 02:53:36 PM
The screw is a wood screw so the mechanism was mounted on wood.

How can you unequivocally say that? What is your evidence for this other than it's a wood screw? Was there a piece of wood attached to them when they were found? Were there traces of wood found on them? Just trying to keep things honest with the facts that's all. 

 
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Chris Johnson on May 17, 2014, 03:33:59 PM
I'd be interested to see if anything similar has been found in the village.  I'm thinking of these as 'latches' for screens/windows on houses like the village and also for Gallagher/Planters over near the 7 site.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Ric Gillespie on May 17, 2014, 06:40:05 PM
The screw is a wood screw so the mechanism was mounted on wood.

How can you unequivocally say that? What is your evidence for this other than it's a wood screw? Was there a piece of wood attached to them when they were found? Were there traces of wood found on them? Just trying to keep things honest with the facts that's all.

I choose to think that you meant to say "Just trying to keep things accurate...."
Nothing was attached to either artifact when they were found.  The wood screw associated with the bent "gidgie" has material that appears to be wood imbedded in the threads. Curiously, the threads of the identical wood screw associated with the round "gidgie" have no such impactions and are quite clean.
My interpretation is that the screw on the bent artifact was pried out ( thus bending the artifact) and the other one was unscrewed.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: JNev on May 18, 2014, 02:59:29 PM
...and now for the sake of brainstorming (and hoping some might dig into old photos to look for possibilities, etc...) - I've long 'seen' these things as some sort of improvised combination anti-rotation / anchor that might have been mounted to the wood flooring in the Lockheed...

Reckless of me, pure conjecture - I know, but in the interest of spurring interest and a review of whatever material might be seen...

These things REEK airplane - and makeshift to meet some impromptu need, as well - such as could EASILY be the case for a one-off use mission, like produced by hand in a shop somewhere along the way to secure some oddball something while flying around the world in an overloaded Lockheed...
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Ric Gillespie on May 18, 2014, 04:29:29 PM
These things REEK airplane - and makeshift to meet some impromptu need, as well - such as could EASILY be the case for a one-off use mission, like produced by hand in a shop somewhere along the way to secure some oddball something while flying around the world in an overloaded Lockheed...

But why would she/he remove them from the airplane and take them all the way to the Seven Site?  What possible utility could they have to a castaway?

I see them as being a home-grown modification to the sextant box (which we KNOW was at the Seven Site).  Recall that Harold Gatty, a world class navigator, said of the sextant box, "... that it was used latterly merely as a receptacle."  Why would he say that?  What was there about the box that told Gatty that it had been used not to carry a sextant but merely as a box to carry things in?
Brandis sextant boxes are outfitted with all kinds of wooden compartments and dividers.  If you wanted to use the box "merely as a receptacle" they would get in the way. Did Gatty see a box that had been gutted of its interior features? 

Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Greg Daspit on May 18, 2014, 05:17:53 PM
A home grown modification to the Sextant Box that was found in the same area makes sense to me.
As for the modification
I'm thinking outside the box (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,1187.msg24832.html#msg24832). ;D
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Greg Daspit on May 18, 2014, 07:28:44 PM
The screw is a wood screw so the mechanism was mounted on wood.


The wood screw associated with the bent "gidgie" has material that appears to be wood imbedded in the threads. Curiously, the threads of the identical wood screw associated with the round "gidgie" have no such impactions and are quite clean.
My interpretation is that the screw on the bent artifact was pried out ( thus bending the artifact) and the other one was unscrewed.
A few different ideas for why one may have been pulled out and one unscrewed (shoulder strap hypothesis related):
1. The strap may have been meant to be used over one shoulder in a casual way and was a short length, but if the castaway wanted to carry other things or was injured and traveling with a crutch, then he/she may have pulled it over their head and under one arm and bent out one by stretching the strap away from the box. The longer one would bend easier due to more leverage.
2. Based on the bird and fish bone evidence, the Castaway seemed to have stopped moving for some time. The strap no longer useful for to carry places, may have then been removed for some other use.
3. Pulling one out instead of unscrewing it could mean a lack of time to unscrew both. A strap could be used in an emergency to stop bleeding. Lots of small sharks in the Lagoon
4. One may have eventually failed, or partially failed, by pulling out so the other became useless and was unscrewed.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: JNev on May 19, 2014, 06:24:12 AM
These things REEK airplane - and makeshift to meet some impromptu need, as well - such as could EASILY be the case for a one-off use mission, like produced by hand in a shop somewhere along the way to secure some oddball something while flying around the world in an overloaded Lockheed...

But why would she/he remove them from the airplane and take them all the way to the Seven Site?  What possible utility could they have to a castaway?

I see them as being a home-grown modification to the sextant box (which we KNOW was at the Seven Site).  Recall that Harold Gatty, a world class navigator, said of the sextant box, "... that it was used latterly merely as a receptacle."  Why would he say that?  What was there about the box that told Gatty that it had been used not to carry a sextant but merely as a box to carry things in?
Brandis sextant boxes are outfitted with all kinds of wooden compartments and dividers.  If you wanted to use the box "merely as a receptacle" they would get in the way. Did Gatty see a box that had been gutted of its interior features?

Certainly possible, Ric, as are lots of things.  I'm not throwing darts at the sextant box idea - I remember that and of course it is possible.

But so might someone remove a floor board and transport it for some reason - something to sit or sleep on, or for rudimentary shade - or any number of other reasons, and organic stuff like wood doesn't last long on Niku, does it?  So we could be seeing the remnants after the wood 'went away' -

Which doesn't fully account easily for the presence of wood fibers still evident in one piece, but not the other - unless they were removed from the wood deliberately by different means (unscrewing in one case, prying in the other).  Or perhaps that was happenstance - one screw could have had a somewhat loose fit originally and never 'took up' much bite from the wood, whereas the one with fibers remaining may have been more tightly bound into the parent structure.

All ideas at this point in my view.  And I've heard from one fellow off-forum who says he seen this kind of stuff all over the place... but what continues to stick out to me is 'yeah, but aircraft aluminum?'  OK, could have been made from aircraft scraps (I'd say 'it is') and we have a number of examples of that from Niku, not necessarily from the Electra - but despite that wise fellow's general observation, these are still peculiarly 'purpose built' for something that may have well been a bit more athletic or dynamic than ordinary household use -

And a sextant box might fit that, as might securing something to the floor of the Electra - or any number of similar things. 

My point was simply to stir interest in looking at possibilities: there could yet be a photo clue out there somewhere.

And the sextant box idea makes sense - it would be far more easily transported and would have far more obvious utility value, in my opinion, than a floor board.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Ric Gillespie on May 19, 2014, 07:26:56 AM
And I've heard from one fellow off-forum who says he seen this kind of stuff all over the place...

Lots people say that but, so far, nobody has come up with anything that has:
- a wood screw in a hole in
- an aluminum plate with
- little saw teeth and
- a second smaller, but empty, hole

This is reminiscent of the discussions about 2-2-V-1 and the lotion bottle.  To have a viable ID all the features must be present.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: JNev on May 19, 2014, 10:11:29 AM
And I've heard from one fellow off-forum who says he seen this kind of stuff all over the place...

Lots people say that but, so far, nobody has come up with anything that has:- a wood screw in a hole in
- an aluminum plate with
- little saw teeth and
- a second smaller, but empty, hole

This is reminiscent of the discussions about 2-2-V-1 and the lotion bottle.  To have a viable ID all the features must be present.

Agreed, and with due respect to the fellow, my point exactly: these things remain oddly unique among all else I've seen suggested, no one has put up anything close "from the outside".
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Chris Johnson on May 19, 2014, 01:36:16 PM
Has the wood sample found with the screw been checked out (if possible) to determine type of wood.  I guess a sextant box would be made from a hardwood, which in itself would be rarer on the island as most trees except Kanawa are softwood. 
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Ted G Campbell on May 19, 2014, 02:57:12 PM
All,
Do we have a picture of the note passing pole used by AE/FN?
Ted Campbell
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: JNev on May 19, 2014, 03:50:28 PM
Good thought, Ted... we need to look at that.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Jeff Victor Hayden on May 19, 2014, 09:02:48 PM
There is a pretty good view of it in this video @ 2:30

http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675063657_Amelia-Earhart-Putnam_Fred-Noonan_transatlantic-flight_Fred-Noonan (http://www.criticalpast.com/video/65675063657_Amelia-Earhart-Putnam_Fred-Noonan_transatlantic-flight_Fred-Noonan)
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: JNev on May 20, 2014, 07:37:15 AM
Nice find, Jeff Victor.

Was that pole bamboo?
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Chris Johnson on May 20, 2014, 08:00:47 AM
I beleive it is often refered to as Bamboo.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: JNev on May 20, 2014, 08:15:41 AM
I beleive it is often refered to as Bamboo.

As I looked at this it seemed to be, and now I recall what you say - yes, believe it was.

Therefore, if the wood fibers evident in the gidgy screw are not bamboo, we may have a dead-end on the schtick, as it were.  But it was a cool idea.

What kind of wood are sextant cases typically made of? 

I'm sure there may have been variants, but is there a predominant type?  Are there only a very few types that would have been used? 

Can the fibers in the screw threads be identified as to type? 

Can trace elements of 'other stuff' in the wood fibers be determined, i.e. are there elements of stuff used in plywood, or would these have been screwed into a solid piece of wood perhaps?
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Jeff Victor Hayden on May 20, 2014, 09:36:43 AM
Typically it was referred to as a 'fishing pole'. I guess that is an American term for a 'fishing rod'. In the 1930's these were invariably made from wood called split cane, very durable and tough. I used to own one which I used for carp fishing and it comfortably managed to handle 30+ pound carp without any problems.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Ric Gillespie on May 20, 2014, 09:55:15 AM
These are all questions that can probably be answered but, to invoke Fowler's Maxim, "Questions are cheap.  Answers are expensive." 
In the absence of unlimited funding we're always having to ask ourselves, "Is it worth the cost of finding out?" 
Let's say we were able to identify the material that is stuck in the threads.  If it is bamboo that would be interesting. (Bamboo is not wood.  It's a grass.) If it's the same kind of wood that Brandis sextant boxes are made from that would also be interesting. But would either finding move the investigation forward?  Yes, a little bit. Enough to justify the cost in time and money?  Probably not.

These photos show the putative wood jammed in the threads of the one screw.  Not much to go on.
Another interesting observation:  The slots on the screws show damage from tightening.  Somebody really honked down on them.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: JNev on May 20, 2014, 10:05:16 AM
Good points.

Is that old silver paint on these, or just a slight illusion suggesting that?
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Ric Gillespie on May 20, 2014, 11:11:40 AM
Good points.

Is that old silver paint on these, or just a slight illusion suggesting that?

I don't see any indication of paint.  They seem to be bare metal with dirt on them in places.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Greg Daspit on May 20, 2014, 12:23:17 PM
There appears to be a filament caught under the screw of the smaller one. In "screw-heads" image attached to this post (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,308.msg31749.html#msg31749)
How soon after discovery was that picture taken?
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Ric Gillespie on May 20, 2014, 12:35:20 PM
How soon after discovery was that picture taken?

About 13 years. That's a scan I did this morning.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Tim Collins on May 21, 2014, 06:38:31 AM
Do I see remnants of solder on the more round one?  Suggestive of having wire attached to it at some point?

Re having seen this kind of stuff all over the place: I as well could say that, as I'm sure many could. Looks just like something I remember seeing, or rather more to the point, would have seen, in the boxes and piles of miscellaneous crap on my dad's work bench when I was growing up. There's just something so familiar about them.   
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: JNev on May 22, 2014, 05:58:00 AM
There appears to be a filament caught under the screw of the smaller one. In "screw-heads" image attached to this post (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,308.msg31749.html#msg31749)
How soon after discovery was that picture taken?

Not sure about significance of filiment (whether original to the find or something picked-up along the way), but as to the 'eye' effect on the smaller, open holes (both parts exhibit this) - this is an effect of hand-drilling with a power tool.  I commented on this feature some time ago regarding these parts.

When hand-drilling with a high-speed bit it is common to get 'chatter' - a rapid oscillation of the drill bit tip as it begins to purchase into the material.  As the hole deepens the bit tip tends to stabilize and the end result is the mostly round hole we see that goes all the way through.

Having done a good bit of hand-drilling on small pieces that are also hand-held with grips (or a vice if one has it handy enough, but not always near when needed) these parts appear to me to have been drilled with a power tool (how much of that was happening on Gardner?).  Further, this appears to have been done 'on the fly', i.e. someone needed an improvised 'gidgy' for some reason and roughed these out very nicely but in quick fashion on a limited workbench, if not plane-side.  The teeth could easily be produced with a common bastard file of some fairness - the apex of the notches is not acute beyond 90 degrees.

These don't seem like they were produced on Gardner for at least some of these reasons.  There are examples of things that were apparently done on Gardner, like a metal comb, etc.  Maybe some of the tooling marks among these things can be compared to determine more about possible cottage-origins for the 'gidgies' on Niku, or not, but my strong suspicion is they were not made there. 

So, IMO - not only are these made of aviation-grade material (wood screws excepted), they bear the marks of aviation hand-work including hand-drilling with a high-speed bit in a power drill.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: JNev on May 22, 2014, 06:11:27 AM
Do I see remnants of solder on the more round one?  Suggestive of having wire attached to it at some point?

Re having seen this kind of stuff all over the place: I as well could say that, as I'm sure many could. Looks just like something I remember seeing, or rather more to the point, would have seen, in the boxes and piles of miscellaneous crap on my dad's work bench when I was growing up. There's just something so familiar about them.   

Sharp observation, Tim. 

What you refer to as 'remnants of solder' was part of what suggested 'paint' to me - it does look like some material caked-onto the surface and not migrated metal from rough handling. 

As to solder - I don't think aluminum alloys accept solder tinning well - one wouldn't solder to aluminum in my experience.  The norm is to use some mechanical means to bond to aluminum.

As to 'commonality' - having wracked my own small brain for 'where I've seen these before' all I can add is that I too have more than one junk box chock full of 'useful odds and ends' that seldom find true life again, but lie dusty in a bin somewhere.  Those kinds of things are irresistible to the mechanically-minded: once we've had to improvise a few things along the way we learn to hoard 'useful little things' as we can imagine all sorts of useful applications - and tend to remember the pain and time spent to fabricate some special little widget to fix some need. 

I've got some old rusty anti-rotation flap roller lock tabs among my stuff that are similar - discarded when new rollers installed on some transport many years ago.  The new rollers always came with fresh lock tabs - the big hole is 'keyed' to lock the roller shaft from rotation, and the extended tab has a small hole for safety wire.  On quick examination, not the 'same thing', but close in concept.  Hence I believe the memory of many little gidgies along the way crawl to the fore as we rifle our memories and imaginations for 'what these are'.

They remain mysterious to me - but clearly hand-fashioned by someone with some aviation grade skills and tools: attention was paid to edge distance, radii and uniform teeth-cutting, de-burring is evident and the tool marks, including drill chatter consistent with high-speed bit, etc., all suggest quick but good hand-work by a good smith on a somewhat limited bench.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Roger London on July 04, 2014, 06:56:15 AM
Did these two artifacts come, separately, from the Norwich City whilst attached to broken timber? Blown across the lagoon to run aground at the far side. Amelie saw a use and retrieved them.

Therefore its a question of where were they used on a freighter? There are many possibilities. Laundry and drying equipment, or galley crockery/utensil/equipment storage racking? Early 1900s vessels used a lot of timber raking, drawers, shelves, etc all made with rough-weather features/securings.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: John Ousterhout on July 04, 2014, 08:14:05 AM
The oval gidgie appears to my eyes to have a faint "star" outline, just visible centered on the screw-hole and continuing the same tooth pitch as the teeth filed into the edge.  Is this just my imagination, or do others see the same thing?  If it's a real mark, it means something with that shape was held against the aluminum surface but didn't leave indentations.  What does that imply?  A modern star-washer would have left indentations, and actually has a different shape.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Chris Johnson on July 04, 2014, 08:36:33 AM
Has anyone noticed that the other hole in each peice dosn't have evidence (to me) of having anything screwed through it whereas the holes with the screws in them have what looks like wear from the screw being turned?
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Ric Gillespie on July 04, 2014, 08:40:55 AM
Has anyone noticed that the other hole in each peice dosn't have evidence (to me) of having anything screwed through it whereas the holes with the screws in them have what looks like wear from the screw being turned?

Yes.  I've long thought that the second hole was for a removable pin that may have been used to lock the device in place.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: John Ousterhout on July 04, 2014, 11:55:52 AM
I've always thought of the second hole being for a brad.  In any case the purpose would be to prevent rotation.  Removing the screw would allow the gidgie to rotate about the brad/pin/whatever.  The wear marks around the screw hole may be from repeated removal, which implies occasional need to do what?  Adjust something?  Remove something?
I find it curious that the teeth don't appear to be bent.  If they were supposed to hold something down, like a claw, then I would expect them to be bent slightly.
They remind me of a picture-frame hanger, except they're too small and the teeth are spaced wrong.  The hanger I'm reminded of engages a nail in a wall, the teeth allowing repositioning left and right to get it to hang straight.
Intriguing indeed.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Roger London on July 18, 2014, 03:50:11 AM
These two brackets/gidgies appear to have been screwed to wood, it follows, given their size, the wood would have been significantly larger thus offer positive buoyancy and facilitating their dispersion across the lagoon. It is therefore very possible that these brackets/gidgies came from the Norwich City.
Looking for a likely use on a freighter could focus the source-search. Laundry room, drying rack, crockery storage shelving/racking, etc. They do not look as though they were originally high quality, thus less likely to have been associated with anything in, or from, chart/navigation/radio/bridge room equipment.
A superb project, Roger
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Joe Cerniglia on July 18, 2014, 05:27:56 AM
These two brackets/gidgies appear to have been screwed to wood, it follows, given their size, the wood would have been significantly larger thus offer positive buoyancy and facilitating their dispersion across the lagoon. It is therefore very possible that these brackets/gidgies came from the Norwich City.
It's possible, but previous analysis on EPAC didn't seem to point in the direction of the Norwich City, a British-built freighter.  In 2002, A British researcher observed the gidgies appear American in origin.

"The nature of the plates make it virtually certain that they
were amateur made and used American screws...

The thicknesses are reasonably consistent with an American origin, either
Brown and Sharpe gages (http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_wire_gauge) or "preferred thickness" gages. The thicknesses do
not tie in so well with a British origin as this would mean an SWG (Standard
wire gauge) thickness which lies in both cases just outside the maximum and
minimum thicknesses. It has to be said that the variation in thickness over
the plate makes a nominal thickness difficult to be certain of or even if it
is relevant, but ... The American gage (B & S) of the plates would be 17 (0.0453) and 19 (0.0359) .
Equivalent preferred thickness would be 0.036 and 0.045."

He suggested the LORAN station as one probable source but neither did he rule out the hypothesis that it was for a modification to a sextant box.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078C
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Roger London on August 05, 2014, 11:44:18 AM
Yes agreed Joe, the gidgies appear to be US made. Or Canadian? Thus pointing to when the Norwich City was repaired locally after her bridge collision near Vancouver. The masts and funnel were smashed, along with bridge damage. The accident pictures, whilst good, do not clearly show what damage may have occurred below decks especially when the masts were smashed.
A brilliant project, Roger
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: JNev on August 05, 2014, 11:53:24 AM
The gidgies are aluminum and hand-crafted.  That does not seem like shipboard fare to me.

Hand-crafted may be 'amateur' - or the work of a craftsman with limited time and resources.

Other than having American screws and possibly American gage material, I couldn't begin to assume with any reliability that they are American (or Canadian) made, and obviously I personally don't see the N.C. connection anyway.

The sextant box modification seems plausible as a line of pursuit - however one can pursue it without the box.  Same for these things turning up as a make-do do-dad for the interior of NR16020 if it could only be found so (maybe will surface in a picture one day that happens to capture some odd detail with these in it.  Maybe they were meant to retain soft goods in the cockpit or cabin somehow.  The Cabin had an expanse of what appears to have been wood decking.

Other than those guesses, it seems like a big, fat... guess, for now.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Roger London on August 05, 2014, 12:01:03 PM
In addition to the various uses others have suggested, the gidgies, wherever they came from, whilst still attached to a piece of timber batten, would have made a wonderful crab-killer or crab-deflector. In particular whilst laid prone sleeping such an armament would have been very effective meted out with venom when attacked. Once too weak to move however, these gidgies might have been a very sad cutting-last-stand against the crabs’ war of attrition.
A brilliant project, Roger
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: JNev on August 05, 2014, 12:17:54 PM
They'd make good back-scratchers, too.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Matt Revington on February 03, 2016, 11:29:34 AM
This artifact has puzzled me for a long time.  The Luke field inventory lists AE's radio headphones as model WE 588A which I have not been able to find a picture of online but I did find WE 528 headphones (that I hope are similar) for sale on eBay, I have attached a photo from that ad.  The hook on the incoming wires to the headphone goes through a part that seems to me to be very similar to 2-6-S-03B.  (edit) I added a second copy with an arrow indicating what I am talking about.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on February 03, 2016, 03:09:26 PM
The hook on the incoming wires to the headphone goes through a part that seems to me to be very similar to 2-6-S-03B.

That is one of the best guesses I've ever seen.

Even if it isn't the actual source of the "gidgies," it may show the kind of application they may have come from.

I've moved your post down to this thread for the sake of continuity.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Ric Gillespie on February 03, 2016, 03:48:14 PM
Bear in mind that the screws are wood screws and the aluminum pieces are not manufactured but are crudely fashioned.  These things were make-shift homemade additions or modifications to a wooden object.  My guess has always been that they are from rotatable wooden "keepers" Noonan installed in the sextant box.  Earhart, as a castaway, was using the box to carry stuff and she ripped out keepers because they were in the way - bending one of them in the process.  The wooden blocks they were originally attached to eventually rotted away leaving only the aluminum plates and brass screws.
Title: Re: Artifact 2-6-S-03A & 2-6-S-03B
Post by: Matt Revington on February 04, 2016, 06:37:13 AM
Wood screws don't have to mean wood was used, I assume the cup of those earphones were bakelite, if you google "wood screws and bakelite" you get links to a host of articles from Popular Mechanics and Popular Science from the 1920s and 1930s which outline how to build different types of radios etc, in almost every case they suggest that the bakelite parts be attached using wood screws  after drilling an initial pilot hole. 
However, Ric, I admit your idea makes more sense.  I cannot picture a reason why AE or FN would have taken the headphones from the plane and if they had why would they have dismantled it and why was no bakelite and other headphone parts found at the 7 site with the gidgies.