Thanks for all the ideas about our mystery object which comes from the former post office in King Street, Maidstone, and is believed to date from the mid 19th Century to mid 20th Century.
People have suggested via Facebook, Twitter and this blog that it could be a an ordnance survey map carrier, a fire extinguisher, or a torpedo-style document pneumatic mailing tube or ‘flying fox’, though this last suggestion has already been discounted by our curator as town post offices wouldn’t have used such a thing.
Amongst the best suggestion we think is the possibility that it’s a “blower” used for blowing dust away from postal franking machines. But we’re still not clear why it would have a grooved rubber rim around the open end. And if anyone can suggest the dates it was in use we’d be very pleased to hear from them. Here is another photograph of the object showing the internal plunger.
Please leave your suggestion as to what this object is as a comment on this blog post.
Clare George – Archives and Records Assistant