Yesterday's mystery tool is officially known as the Monitor model 107 "Patented Wire Stitcher" manufactured by the Latham Machinery Company of Chicago, IL. Bookbinding operations like the one that gave the machine to me used it to place those big staples in thick stacks of pages to be bound. I'm sure you've always wondered what kind of stapler it takes to make that staple. This is it.
The machine does not use staples as we know them in the common desktop stapler. It has a spool of wire, lengths of which it punches through the materials being bound, folds twice, and cuts. As the Stitcher model name suggests, it functions like a sewing machine for wire staples. One stomp on the foot pedal produces one staple, the length of which can be controlled by the configuration of some parts inside the head of the machine. Move the materials to be bound along and step on the pedal again.
Like last week's Graphotype, this machine is approximately a century old. Unlike the Graphotype, the principal action used is still basically how wire stitching is done today.
Cheers to commenter The Adama for being the first with the most specific response--your Stanley Fatmax tape measure is on its way! Stay tuned for more mystery tools next week.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.