What in the WORLD??

Who doesn’t like a good mystery? Lots of people, and history lovers are no exception. In fact, if you put an image of a not-completely-obvious artifact in front of them with no explanation and ask “What is it?” their minds will immediately set to work.

We know because we tried it on Facebook yesterday and got a flurry of responses. Try it for yourself. Below is the image. Spend a few moments pondering–What could this be? Where might it be from? From what time period?–before you scroll down for the big reveal.

If you guessed a “spice tin” from the late 19th century (mega bonus points if “ca. 1895” came to mind), you win the grand prize! (Which is the joy of knowing you have sharp skills–or a keen intuition–about these things.)

If you somehow managed to divine that the tin belonged to Martha Skolfied, wife of Captain Alfred Skolfield, of Brunswick, and was contributed to Maine Memory Network by Pejepscot Historical Society, you are some kind of history genius!

Answers on our Facebook page ranged from tea box to tobacco caddy to apothecary’s case to… spice box (four votes)! Several responders got very close to the actual date of the item–one person even said “1890 or so” (although her guess was a tea box).

Stay tuned for more fun mysteries in the future… and next time, we’ll make it a tad more challenging!

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