Thousands of Aussies are stumped over the purpose of this bizarre gadget

Pat J. Fraley


Thousands of Aussies are stumped over the purpose of this bizarre gadget – so do YOU know what it is?

  • Worker pleads to thousands for answers after being stumped by mystery gadget
  • She took to Facebook for answers and many shared that it is an atomic ash tray 
  • Many shared that the tray looked like something from the 1962 show The Jetsons

A volunteer worker has asked for online help to identify the purpose of a mystery gadget a customer bought from her op shop. 

Helen from Brisbane, Queensland, asked Facebook users for answers about the retro item after the customer admitted she was equally as stumped. 

However after countless responses that included a paint brush holder and a serviette stand, it was revealed that the antique buy is in fact an ashtray from the early 1960s. 

An op shop volunteer has left thousands stumped after sharing a mystery item that a customer bought and pleaded for answers, many shared that it’s an atomic ash tray from the 1960’s

The ‘atomic’ design ash trays were extremely popular when smoking was very common and came in a range of bright colours with the same space-age inspired design. 

The spiral in the middle was designed to hold cigarettes in place without them sliding down into the ashtray.

Hundreds incorrectly guessed that the op shop buy was either a paint brush holder, serviette stand, bottle opener, soap dish or even a toast stand.   

The atomic ash tray design and spring  made smoking and socialising easy as smokers could place their cigar or cigarette directly into the spiral holder while having a drink

The atomic ash tray design and spring  made smoking and socialising easy as smokers could place their cigar or cigarette directly into the spiral holder while having a drink

Others shared that they too have atomic ashtrays and commented on how the vintage buy looks like something straight out of the 1962 sitcom, The Jetsons.

‘This is 60s gold! Even though I don’t smoke, I would love this,’ a woman wrote.  

‘If you took the metal bit off it would be a great soap dish,’ a third wrote. 

Others shared that they too have atomic ash trays and commented on how the vintage buy reminds them of something straight out of the 1962 sitcom, The Jetsons

Others shared that they too have atomic ash trays and commented on how the vintage buy reminds them of something straight out of the 1962 sitcom, The Jetsons

A man was also left completely puzzled recently by a serrated, hinge-mounted metal hook he found and asked Facebook to provide answers.

The man revealed he had know idea what the metal device was for but assumed it was some kind of kitchen aid.

Others suggested it could be used in stables, as a plant hanger or as a boot scraper – until a woman revealed the hook to be a collapsible clothes hanger for the car.

A man was also left completely puzzled by a serrated, hinge-mounted metal hook he found and asked Facebook for answers, a woman revealed that it is a collapsible clothes hanger

 A man was also left completely puzzled by a serrated, hinge-mounted metal hook he found and asked Facebook for answers, a woman revealed that it is a collapsible clothes hanger

The sharp teeth are used to keep coat hangers in place, the woman revealed, and the narrow clip is made to fit over the window of cars.

The hanger can also be mounted on a wall, according to some of the antique-lovers on the Facebook page, which is why there are hooks on the back.

The antique hooks retail for about $100AUD and were often made in the USA, like the one pictured in the post.

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