This old gadget is actually a rotary knife sharpener!
A knife sharpener like this one would have been used in the Israel Lustgarten butcher shop at 97 Orchard Street during the 1890s, which will be featured in our upcoming business exhibition. The end would have been nailed onto a counter top or workspace. Then, a butcher would simply line a knife up to the sturdy metal wheel and rotate the hand crank on the opposite side. Finally, the wheel would grind into the butcher's blade to insure it was sharp and effective.
Make sure to check back on Friday to guess our next mystery artifact!
-Posted by Joe Klarl