What Is It 4 and a Half?

Small crock leg

Do you know what this item was used for? I know what it is-because a dear Blind Pig reader gave it to me.

The piece is about 6 inches long-and 6 1/2 inches tall. It has 2 small legs on the back to keep it from rolling over.

W R and Co Akron


The front has: PAT. D. APR. 7. 1885; MANF. D. BY. THE W.R. & CO. AKRON. O. The back is solid, flat, and has no markings.

The front also has a little cupped lip.

I didn’t have a clue what it was till I was told-but I’m betting more than a few of you will guess it right off. If you have experience using one-or one like it-I hope you’ll share what you know.



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  • Reply
    December 7, 2012 at 6:01 am

    It is a chicken waterer. Here is one up for auction.

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    December 6, 2012 at 12:14 am

    Tipper, It is to hold your ashes from your wood stove if you have one and if you all smoke. I have a black coal bucket I got in Germany 45 years ago. That is all I can think of.
    Peggy L.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 7:16 pm

    I haven’t the slightest idea what the object is, but I do get a kick out of the fact that it’s from up around my neck of the woods! A lot of hill folk ended up in the area during the 40’s and later decades.

  • Reply
    Sue Crane
    December 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm

    I’m with Tim — the chicken waterers I saw were Mason jars with a glass saucer with ridges just high enough so the water would seep but over flow.
    it also does favor a font for holy water.
    Good “stumper” there Tipper 🙂

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 5, 2012 at 5:27 pm

    What in the world is a salt pig?
    I’m back tonight to see if anyone knows the identity of that darn thing.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 3:34 pm

    Is it used to absorb the toxins in tobacco smoke?

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    I ain’t got a clue and have certainly never seen one. Since you have chickens, I’d have to
    guess that its a watering device
    for baby chicks…Ken

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    If it is not a bird feeder I think I’ve got it. It is either a spare button holder for seamstresses or it is secret coat pocket spitton for people that dip snuff in church. It could happen. I’m sorry but everybody’s gone today and I need constant supervision.

  • Reply
    Jim Casada
    December 5, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    Tipper–I have to reckon it’s a store-bought (or maybe catalog-bought) watering device for chickens or turkeys. Grandpa Joe had something somewhat similar, although it was homemade.
    I can’t remember the make-up of the whole thing, but I know it used a big old jar of the kind you used to get “institutional” food products such as mayonnaise for schools in. He had placed some kind of weight inside the jar (I think maybe it was a lead window weight he had cut into) to keep it in place, and he had also dug out a little place in the ground so it tilted forward and couldn’t shift. He had chunked up the open end with some wood and left an opening to let a bit of water out. That’s about as much as I remember other than that it was in the shade. I’m not at all sure how he filled it up, but knowing him it would have been simple.
    If it’s something else I reckon I’ll eat the guts of the next chicken I shoot (but I don’t plan to shoot any).
    Incidentally, I got the idea about “eating the guts” from a fellow outdoor writer who was kind enough to say he would eat the guts of the next turkey he shot if readers didn’t learn something new from a book I have just written on turkey hunting. Maybe that wasn’t exactly your ordinary dust jacket blurb, but it sure gets attention.
    I see a good many other folks figure it is a “watering trough” for chickens.
    Jim Casada

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    I don’t know exactly what it is. Those two little birds on it make me think it is a feeder or drinker for them.
    You know what, I think it just hit me what a WAG is.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    I wonder if it is legal to have this much fun.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 12:24 pm


  • Reply
    B. ruth
    December 5, 2012 at 12:08 pm

    Doggone it! While speaking of chickens and birds, reminded me of bird flu, which reminded me of, flu, which reminded me of the Tennessee flu increase, which reminded me of shots, which reminded me of doctors, which reminded me that we have to be there at 1:00 to get our flu shot!..(as you say) YIKES!
    So, I guess I will have to wait until tonight to see what the answer to the mystery item is!
    I hate shots!
    Thanks Tipper, Hope everyone gets their flu shot…

  • Reply
    B. ruth
    December 5, 2012 at 11:57 am

    I’ve seen larger (alike) pottery items designed in the upright position.
    Those were chick, chicken feeders or waterers…
    I would suppose that yours is a pet bird feeder…since it is so small. Maybe for passenger pigeons of long ago or the cherished Victorian caged canaries or exotic birds…
    Don’t need the bird but would love to have an old Victorian cage.
    Seems to me you have a real treasure, whatever it is…
    I hope its not a kill feeder to poison rats…ewwwwwww
    Waiting on the answer.
    Thanks Tipper, If I can’t stand it, (to wait until later) I will research it. LOL

  • Reply
    Paul Certo
    December 5, 2012 at 11:44 am

    My guess would be some kind of feeder, perhaps for chickens? t

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes
    December 5, 2012 at 11:38 am

    I am clueless on this one.

  • Reply
    Melissa P (misplaced Southerner)
    December 5, 2012 at 11:29 am

    A drinking bowl for fairies, elves, gnomes?

  • Reply
    Sam Ensley
    December 5, 2012 at 10:46 am

    I would say it’s something like a chicken waterer.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 10:39 am

    wow don’t have a clue! It looks quite interesting though.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 10:33 am

    A kitchen compost bin?

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 10:31 am

    HI Tipper,Does it hold Catholic Holy Water.God Bless. Jean

  • Reply
    Lisa Snuggs
    December 5, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Either folks are not online this morning or you have them stumped. My best guess would be that it was used for water chickens.

  • Reply
    Kimberly Burnette
    December 5, 2012 at 9:49 am

    I’m totally clueless on this one!

  • Reply
    Patti Tappel
    December 5, 2012 at 9:39 am

    A chicken waterer!?!?!? do I win it if I’m right???? LOL

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 9:34 am

    I’d sure like to know!

  • Reply
    Jon Freis
    December 5, 2012 at 9:15 am

    Porcelain Chicken Waterer. Dunk it in a pail of water until it fills up, then set it out for the chickens to drink. Porcelain keeps the water cool.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 9:14 am

    Hummmm! There could be a couple of guesses for me. It could be a holy water font, a bird feeder, or even a water feeder for a small animal. Maybe it is a trainning cup for a young child or a cup to give a slow drink to an ill person. Okay, I think you got me!

  • Reply
    Ken and Jan Kuhlmann
    December 5, 2012 at 9:09 am

    It looks like some kind of watering device. Maybe a chicken water.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 9:01 am

    A sap bucket for collecting sap from a tree?

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 8:27 am

    My grandpa Coker had something similar to this that he used to water his chickens. His was more upright though and a biege color. The only way I would know this is I broke one of the legs off one day and well lets say I will never forget what happend next…

  • Reply
    Russell Wright
    December 5, 2012 at 8:19 am

    Watering chickens.

  • Reply
    Ron Banks
    December 5, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I don’t know what it is exactly but I think it is very cool!
    My quess would be a bird feeder or a chicken waterer.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 8:11 am

    No idea, but interesting.

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    December 5, 2012 at 7:57 am

    Not a clue, Tipper, not even a WAG. Is it black? Is there an opening to the inside? Does in ferment something? Does it gather rain water? It must catch a drip from something.
    Oh, I give up! You will tell us, right?

  • Reply
    Bill Burnett
    December 5, 2012 at 7:53 am

    Possibly a spoon or drippings holder?

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    December 5, 2012 at 7:38 am

    no clue, I’ve never seen anything like it.

  • Reply
    Gary Miller
    December 5, 2012 at 7:17 am

    A container to hold water for birds, with a cup like drinking area.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    December 5, 2012 at 7:01 am

    My first thought was a waterer for baby chickens or wild birds. If I guess it do I get it?

  • Reply
    Tim Hassell
    December 5, 2012 at 6:49 am

    I’m pretty sure I know what it is but we never used one like this as I was growing up. The ones we used were glass and had a fruit jar on top. I still like and use the glass ones every Spring and sometimes in the Summer. This one would have the advantage over the kind I use, in that an over zealous mother couldn’t knock it over while scratching for bugs to feed her babies.
    What a special friend to give such a gift, I’m sure you’ll think of him/her every time you see it.

  • Reply
    December 5, 2012 at 6:32 am

    Is it a salt pig? that’s all I can think of.

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