Sometimes an item catches your eye and you wonder, “What is THAT?”
Each month, we show an item that evokes this question, give a brief description and ask you to send us your best guess. The answers appear two months later (ie. the February item will appear in April). While space is limited within the publication, we can include far more answers here.
To view items we have previously featured and their answers, go to our Digital Archive. Simply click View Current Issue in the top left corner of this page, and then click the Archive link on the top left navigation. You can search by Contents for each What is THAT? story. Remember, the answers are two months later.
Check back for the answers to this item in 2 months.
Send your best guess by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, along with your name, your town, where you pick us up and your favorite things about Mason-Dixon ARRIVE.
This wood slab is very thin, 10.5 inches wide x 40 inches
long, plus a handle with a hole in it. What is it?
This wooden item with decorative brass is
about 8 inches long, 5 inches wide. What is it?
This ceramic equestrian item is 8 inches long and 10 inches
ANSWER: EZRA BROOKS BOURBON WHISKEY BOTTLE.
drinking bourbon whiskey is a year-round tonic in Kentucky, I ran this item in
May as a tribute to my Kentucky heritage. Derby Day is always the first
Saturday in May and a celebration of horses, racing, fashion and bourbon! I did
position the photo so that you couldn't see the band that identified it, or the
label from the maker, now visible here. As a result, the obvious clues went
over everyone's head. Except for one. We received the exact answer to this
month's item. Our reader obviously knows her bottles and her whiskey!
READER RESPONSE: This item is a ceramic equestrian bottle of Ezra Brooks
Bourbon Whiskey from the Ezra Brooks Distilling Co. of Frankfort, KY. I must
admit that I'm partial to bottle collections and actually do have that very
same bottle on my bar. I love anything horsey and the name caught my attention,
especially since this may be my distant "Uncle Ezra"!!!! I too LOVE Derby week
and have visited your beautiful state many times, especially around the Lexington
and Louisville areas. We loved the Horse Park in Lexington, where we saw
Seabiscuit. I pick up my Mason Dixon Arrive at Patrick's Restaurant in Cockeysville.
My favorite things are all the wonderful stories and information about our
local areas. I always learn something new and fascinating about our history.
Thanks for doing such a great job!
~ CeCe Brooks, Baltimore
This item is 5 inches long and two inches
wide. It is brittle. What is it?
ANSWER: CRUCIFIX FISH. Ariopsis felis (hardhead
sea catfish, Ariidae.) Sea Shell City, a popular store on Fenwick
Island, posts 'The Legend of the Crucifix Fish' on their web site. "Of all the
fishes in the sea, our Lord chose the lowly sailcat to remind us of his misery.
His body on the cross is outlined, the hilt of the sword that was plunged into
his side is clearly defined. The back of the bone shows the Roman shield. When you
shake the cross, you will hear the dice being tossed for our Lord's blood
stained dress. They say that those who can hear them will be blessed." We
received many correct answers from our readers! Thank you for sending them in!
We enjoyed this one, too.
My best guess would be that it is some
sort of whale bone. Seems like it has some small holes where a possible spinal
cord (or whatever they call it in fish) would go. Beautiful are the intricacies
of nature that are rarely seen. That's my best guess. I picked up ARRIVE
magazine at Richardson's Florist in Bel Air. "What is That" is always my
favorite thing to watch for, as is the events calendar. Thanks for such a fun
~ Lynn Tobia RN, FNE/A, President,
This item is 8 inches, the
celluloid handle leads to a metal rod ending with a hook. What is it?
ANSWER: BUTTONHOOK. We received over 75 answers to this item!
"I have been collecting
sterling silver buttonhooks for many years. Most people would think buttonhooks
to be Victorian or Edwardian, but there are buttonhooks that can be traced to
1611, when they were called "buttoners." The last buttonhooks were manufactured
in 1948. Buttonhooks were for fastening buttons on gloves, clothing and
footwear and were made in every conceivable shape and material. Some
of the prettiest that I have are small glove hooks with tiny rings used for
attaching to chatelaines or watch chains. They have been fun to collect and
there is even an International Buttonhook Society based in England. We live in
Bel Air and I enjoy receiving your magazine in the mail. I always read the
featured articles, and of course look at the "Antiques" section.
This item is made of glass, 3.5
inches in diameter. Any additional clues would give it away. What is it?
ANSWER: Glass Fishing Float
Undoubtedly, you've seen these in gift
shops by the water in our region, possibly Annapolis, Havre de Grace or Chesapeake
City. Used now by homeowners as a decorative accent, glass fishing floats were first
used by the Japanese in 1910. The early Japanese models were glass blown ones
made by hand, usually from recycled glass. Oftentimes, floats were "branded"
with a symbol to designate either the manufacturer or the fishing fleet that
would be using the float.
Sizes range greatly. Some as small as
a little more than an inch in diameter, perfect for a collection of several
different colored ones arranged in a bowl to display on a coffee table to 18
inches in diameter. I've seen homeowners hang some of the larger ones from a
front door transom to show off their coastal decor preference.
Today, these colorful, decorative balls
are collected by antique lovers; in addition, many people search coastlines
hoping to find a cast off from a fishing net that has found its way to the
Chesapeake shores. They can be found in a variety of colors; the most common
ones are green and blue. If you are looking to start a collection, be aware
that there are authentic ones made in the early 1900s, contemporary ones made
in the 1940s and 1950s, as well as lightweight ones made in recent years to be
sold in gift shops and used more for decoration.
This item is 5.5 inches tall and
3.5 inches wide, metal, with a handle to remove the top, which has holes in it.
What is it?
ANSWER: Minnow bucket.
Reader Response: In your Harford County Edition, the item
pictured is a galvanized minnow bucket, which I still use on trout fishing
trips on the beautiful streams in Maryland. It is common to attach the lid to a
lanyard, which allows you to keep the bucket in contact with the stream,
allowing the minnows to be aerated with fresh water running through the holes
in the lid. When you want a minnow, you remove the lid and the egg shaped
design allows easy access for a hand or small net to be inserted retrieving another
minnow. They are being replaced with clear plastic containers in which you pour
one minnow at a time from the spout. One can also use a simple large peanut
butter plastic jar, with a hole punched in the lid and a small nylon line
inserted in the hole with a knot tied on the line inside the lid larger than
the hole. It weighs less, and if you loose it, it is easily replaceable. We
live in Bel Air and like the info on events in the area and home maintenance
~ Stephen L. English,
LTC (USA, Ret.)
It is a fisherman's bait carrier. The holes in the top are for
ventilation to keep the bait fresh. It usually has a carry strap. I really like
your magazine, it comes in the mail.