What is this item?

Had this kicking around for a bit and was wondering what it was. Solid iron and no markings. Thanks

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uspocsm5 years ago
Used by the post office they are mounted on a pipe rack to hold mail sacks open
mole15 years ago
Looks like a latch. The hole allows attachment to one part - with enough play to allow turning. The hook slides around a projection on the other part . The flat blob part is the 'handle' ... well, actually the curve between the hook and the blob is where you push to open the latch. Useful where you don't want things projecting much beyond the surface.
bigern00 mole15 years ago
I think mole1 is right.  They are called "swing box latches".  Here is an image of a complete unit.
onrust (author)  bigern003 years ago
good work. but it was used as stated above
mole1 onrust3 years ago
No problem. Happy Solstice Season!
This is exactly correct
Thanks. I associate these with boats. But It's a good shape for lots of things, and they really would make good hooks... just lift the 'blob' to release whatever was hanging on it?
maybe you could use it to open beers and stuff
Vyger5 years ago
Crooked auto mechanics used them for cutting the belts in cars. When they would check the oil (which they used to do at full service gas stations) they would hook the belt and slice it enough that you would have to buy a new one from them, plus the installation.

Probably not, but -----

It's an early letter opener, or maybe a box cutter.
The edges look rounded on this item. I don't see any sharp cutting edges.
Burf5 years ago
I'm not 100% certain about the name but my dad had a similar but much larger one that he called a "block hook."
The ring portion at the top was slipped over a shackle bolt secured to a heavy overhead timber. Then a chain hoist's top ring was slipped over the curved portion of the "block hook." The hoist could then be easily removed when it was no longer needed. The depth of the curved portion of the "block hook" was designed to prevent the hoist from slipping off when you were slinging the load on the hoist around to move it.
I helped the old man pull a lot of car and tractor engines with that rig.
Re-design5 years ago
Looks like a window hook. Goes on the end of a pole to open and close transom window that are too high to reach. The ring would hook a leaver on the latch and pull it open and the hook would engage a ring on the latch to close the window. But I don't think its really that.