Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Help!

Tyrone found this thing in the galley of the hospital ship where he works as chef. He has no idea what it is for, and frankly, neither do I. My first impression was that it was an eating implement, but it's a bit hard to imagine the utility of a two-sided horizontally mounted fork. Then there's that strange looking "C" shaped thing at what would be the bolster on a knife. It looks like it could be something that is meant to be a cradle for the index finger which suggests that it might be a tool for fabricating some type of food.

Of course we cannot forget that Tyrone is working on a hospital ship and that this thing might n be an archaic surgical instrument.

If anyone has any idea what this zany looking thing is, bring it on!

35 comments:

Veron said...

That looks more like a torture instrument than a kitchen tool!

Shannon said...

Has he asked anyone who works on the ship?

The first thing that came to my mind was that maybe it's used to test for nerve damage. I don't know though.

Scotty said...

I haven't ever seen anything like it before, but it may be a fork after all. I think the "c" thing is a stand. I have my wife's grandmothers bone handled carving set, and it has a similar gizmo to keep the tines off the cutting surface. I'll send you photos.

E said...

A pickle claw? I've never seen anything like this. But I imagine the two forks would be great for grabbing things out of jars and the 'c' would hook nicely on the lip of a jar.

blondee47 said...

perhaps a stitch remover? Send the pic to http://www.almedic.com/
it is my cousin who is in the business so maybe he knows...he loves to hear about these things

tyronebcookin said...

Check for nerve damage, now thats funny!

But seriously I have asked several people on board, we have over 25 nations represented on board right now...of course I have not had a chance to ask all but...

I have asked some dutchies, english, kiwi, and aussies...no luck so far

Pierino said...

I'm sure whatever it is it cost the government about $400.

Possibly something to do with dough---like maybe making gnocchi, using the "c" thing as a stand. But the double fork thing suggests making two of one thing at the same time.

redman said...

are there any sharpened or beveled edges besides the tips of the tines?

Trent Hendricks said...

It's so simple, it's embarrassing to see you all stumbling around in the dark. It's used in exploratory proctology surgery. Ask BdG to tell the truth, he snitched from his last Dr's visit.

Linda said...

I have no idea what it is....although I like the gnocchi fork suggestion. I thought of a child's combination food pusher and fork, or maybe some weird appetizer or fondue fork. It also looks like one of those torture instruments they used on slave ships to force open the mouth of a slave who wouldn't eat (give me a break, my Sociology class is discussing race and oppression). Those are my best shots but I'll download the photo and ask my local auction dealer what he thinks: we have all sorts of odd things passing through my neck of the woods.

boberica said...

That looks like it has some kind of faux-wooden handle, if so, i'm moving away from any surg/med device. If it were all stainless, I'd say it would make a great device for reducing a fracture while screwing or pinning it.
Or somethong to rest my chewing gum on while at the dinner table....

The Foodist said...

well its not April 1st yet....

Scotty said...

Not to shill for more visits to my place, not that there's anything wrong with that, but I just posted a photo of that carving fork I spoke of. If your interested, take a look and tell me the "c" or "u" thing on Tyrone's gizmo.

Tags said...

A bridge for playing pool with the front snapped off?

tyronebcookin said...

The only help i can give is that 'Yes' the handle is a faux wood grain look, and on the 'neck' of the chrome it has in real small letters 'REGD 911032 Made in England' of which no 'google' turned up a thing! Thanks for trying to help with the mystery!

redman said...

I like the pickle fork idea and I think it has also become clear, BdG, that your employer has a healthy sense of humor.

more I think about it more I think it's no kitchen tool at all, though would love to hear that it is, and what its purpose is

tyronebcookin said...

Oh, almost forgot, if you click on bobs pics of the 'tool' utensil you will see in a bigger picture the handle has that curve and thicker end 'feel' the fingers of the hand were made to wraparound it holding the utensil with the 'tines/fork' piece mostly curved and sticking up, which also perplexes me, because the half circle 'bolster'part seems as if the fingers would interfere with it resting against something unles you were just putting it down??? But I don't know?

Scotty said...

Tyrone, have you tried setting it down on a flat surface on the"c" "u", as I did with the fork?

In any case I sent an e-mail to Jack of the food blog redactedrecipes.com. He's from England. I am also sending it to a friend in Australia. Australians are only English with prawns, barbies and criminal records!

The bigger the posse . . .

Sheryl said...

Sorry Bob, I got nothin'. I worked in a hospital kitchen at one point (not on a ship, but in Halifax, so close enough), and I've combed my collection of books on culinary ephemera and can't find a thing.

Based on the shape of the handle, my instinct says the first pic shows it being held upside down and that the C shape is meant to rest over something, either a pot edge or the handle of another utensil. Which doesn't explain the double set of prongs.

Hope you figure it out!

Sheryl

rlink said...

"and on the 'neck' of the chrome it has in real small letters 'REGD 911032 Made in England'"

Sounds like a UK Registered Design number. Every pottery design, china pattern, etc can be registered with a national office, the same way you trademark a logo or slogan. I'd guess it's part of a cutlery set with Registered Design Number 911032. The UK National Archives might be able to tell you more.

The Old Foodie said...

I have no idea, but it doesnt look to me that the "tines" are meant to be used as a fork - they point the wrong way, dont look sharp enough, and a double header fork just wouldnt work. It looks like the "c" part points downward in use,so would not suit the index finger. I suspect (taking the curved "fork" part into account) that there is a second tool to be used with this - with a handle into which the "C" fits and can slide. Perhaps it is some sort of "brace" for assisting with manipulating large joints of meat or something? I'll have a look in some old kitchen manuals and see if I can find something like it. Great Puzzle!

Scotty said...

rlink, good thought, but I ran a search through the UK Intellectual Property Office database a few hours ago, and came up blank.

I'm still working - even ex-lawyers are good at research!

Old Foodie, sorry about the criminal records gag. ;-)

tyronebcookin said...

Hey Scotty, when you set it on the 'c' thing the chrome part bends up and it looks like a hand trying to catch something with three 'tines' facing up and three down, the the tines/forks are at least sharp enough to stab a slab of meat or two...

Scotty said...

One of the problems with blog comments is that you cant post a photo. Tyrone was kind enough to e-mail a photo of the gizmo sitting as I suggested. Whatever the heck this thing is, it looks like it is supposed to sit that way. Not to flog my own blog again, but I amended my post to include this new photo.

This is fun!

Scotty said...

Looking at Tyrone's picture of it sitting on the table (my blog) my wife suggested that if you had two of them it might be used for lifting a rolled roast. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...

Well if REGD 911032 does indicate a UK Registered Design number of 911032, it would have been registered in 1963 but it doesn't show up in the UK official designs database (likely because it is an older number and they may not have gotten that far yet).

The UK Intellectual Property Office is at http://www.ipo.gov.uk/design.htm

Linda said...

Maybe it's for grabbing samples of taffy or cotton candy before the process has completed....

The Foodist said...

Anon;

Taking a look at the page you listed you can search by number.. problem is

"7 digits including leading zeroes. We use two ranges: 0500000-0699999 are textile and lace designs. 1000000-onwards are other types of designs"

The number Tyron found is only six digits

rlink said...

Other countries have design registries, too. It's perfectly conceivable that the manufacturer is/was based in Canada or elsewhere, registered the design there, but had the cutlery manufactured somewhere renown for its steelmaking and cutlery-forging like Sheffield, England.

Magpie said...

i have no idea but i loved reading all the comments.

what about sending it to cook's illustrated? don't they have a "what IS this" object in each issue?

Magpie said...

PS i think what scotty said is absolutely right - that the "c" thing is a stand.

lizzeymac said...

I agree with The Old Foodie.
My grandfather had something very like this, but much larger.
He had a big brick grill in the yard, big enough for a whole pig or small sheep.
The tool - I don't know if it has a name - was used to remove the meat from the spit - the 'C' near the handle rests on the spit and the 'double-ended fork' rests against the meat - you actually pull the spit out of the meat, rather than pushing the meat off the spit.
They aren't an exact match but very close.

JokeyJoe said...

I have come accross one of these and Googled to find out what it is. I can confirm, it's a double sided fork / skewer for serving steak...Hope this helps!

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Valiant-Sheffield-Stainless-%2F-Wood-Steak-Serving-Set_W0QQitemZ350304055227QQcmdZViewItemQQimsxq20100112?IMSfp=TL100112239001r38372

Scotty said...

After almost two years, and the greatest assembly of culinary minds outside of a Community College, the mystery is solved. The reg number matches the one Tyrone reported.

I can sleep again . . .

tyronebcookin said...

Sheffield Stainless Steel / Wood Steak Serving Set Fork

The mystery is solved! And whats so interesting is that I asked an older gentleman from Sheffield England what it was and he didn't know!