It turns out this is actually an early food chopper. Yes, before food processors, we used this to mash our food into bits with one of these.
At the end of the nineteenth century, a food chopper like this one typically had a wood or metal handle and one or two sharp blades. As you can see in the picture above, our food chopper has a metal handle and the intersecting blades are rather dull, though age might have something to do with that. Here's another funky dual-blade design from approximately the same period, though I think ours looks sturdier.
Obviously, an artifact like this was used in the kitchen. It may even have been found in businesses like the family owned Lustgarten butcher shop that occupied the 97 Orchard Street storefront space, as re-imagined in our next exhibit.
-Posted by Joe Klarl