Wednesday, June 9, 2021

SearchResearch Challenge (6/9/21): What's THAT?


I often find myself asking"What's THAT?"  

Perhaps you do too.  Most of the time, a Google search tells us what the object of our interest is.  But sometimes it doesn't quite work the way you expect.  

Here are three things that I had to recently identify.  Can you figure out "What's that?" for each of these pictures?  

1.  This is an image of a widget in my house.  Unfortunately, it's broken.  I want to get a replacement, but I don't want to go to the hardware store and say "it's that thingie you turn to open the window."  

Can you figure out what the correct name of this thing-with-a-handle-you-turn-to-open-the-window?  

2. I found this in my Mom's garage this week.  Here's a decent close-up photo of the gadget.  It's about 3" in diameter (7.6 cm).  It's a part of something larger.  Can you figure out what it is?  (And what it's a part of?)   I believe it used to be a glossy black color, but time has made it a little beat up.  Any ideas? 

3. This is a picture of a place I visited a while ago.  Unfortunately, it was before I was using Google Photos, so I couldn't just look this up.  If you can tell the name of the place AND what kind of structure this is, I'm sure I'd recognize it.  What's that?  AND... Where's that? 

As always, be sure to tell us HOW you figured out the answers.  Details, people, details!  

(And if nobody is making headway on #2, I'll drop a big hint next Monday.)  

Search on! 


  1. For the first photo I searched
    [rotator to open window]
    which took me to, among other places, the Home Depot web site

    where it is part of a class of window operators. Its specific name seems to be "window socket crank handle".

    Photo number 3 looks similar to beehive huts I have seen in SW Ireland and Turkey, but not quite so I will go ahead and keep looking.

    1. For Q1

      I tried Yandex and Search by Image. Not good results (on mobile all my searches so maybe in laptop or desktop could be different)

      Then went and tried Google Lens on Google Photos.

      The answer:400 Series Casement or Awning Operator Handle

      With [ awning operator opening] comes a video to repair. And also a site that answers
      What are Awning Windows?

      Also with Arborello Trulli, there is a UNESCO video

    2. Out of topic, but interesting. A second Statue of Liberty coming to America:

  2. Is this a trick question? I put thing3 into Google Images and the result was "trulli" in Alberobello in southern Italy. The vegetation looked different from your photo so I searched
    [Alberobello in spring] and saw flowering plants.

  3. I started with Q3

    Searched by Image and downloaded image and searched with Google Photos.

    [Village des Bories] was one possible answer so I added images.

    Second was Arborello. As it was mentioned in both searches, I searched for more.

    [arborello structures]

    The Trulli of Alberobello. Puglia, Italy. I'm still reading about this UNESCO place.

    For Q1, loved the: "it's that thingie you turn to open the window." I used that many times (changing the part, as the name of the piece sometimes just doesn't appear when needed, even knowing the name. I think it's because those words are not something we use everyday.

    1. About Trulli:

      Searched [Trulli unknown facts]
      [Other trullo in the world]
      And read Wikipedia about them in both English and Italian.

      There are similar ones in Turkey. There are different styles and classes of trulli. Even are Bitrulli. And it's interesting to read that the word is recent even when the houses are very ancient. Before Trulli, other were used

  4. Replies
    1. Hi Remmij. Can you share how you find cast iron? I tried searching by image with not good answer
      Thank you

    2. Hi RG… used chrome browser, clicked on the image for "Search Guugle for image" and looked through results… thought about checking Yandex
      but the Goo results seemed pretty good. Still like the Victorian/Industrial Age baby pacifier notion…
      Victorian - a favorite age/time period for Dan
      steam punk style
      fwiw — Yandex results
      Dan should stay out of his Mom's garage…

    3. Remmij - the other side is just a flat, blank piece of metal. Good question, though.

  5. Let me add a couple of additional pieces of context for this Challenge.

    #1. I think we all know it's a crank handle. What I'm REALLY looking for is the name of the whole device--that is, the crank + the rest of the widget--it includes a few gears and a sliding arm that moves the window in or out. What's the entire assembly called?

    #2. This is a really hard one, so you'll need a bit more information. I'll give another hint on Monday, but today's hint is that it's pretty thing metal (around 1mm or 0.04 inches thick). It's probably made of steel; not heavy enough to be iron, not light enough to be aluminum.

    #3 -- you don't need hints!

    Keep searching....

    1. I should point out that several folks have found the answer to #1. Well done, team!

    2. Hi Remmij, thank you!

      I tried your diagram search with awning windows. Later tried [awning windows parts]
      And found

      Reading about windows, found these facts :

  6. 3. This is a picture of a place I visited a while ago. Dragged image into IMAGES and found which tells us:

    The trulli, typical limestone dwellings of Alberobello in the southern Italian region of Puglia, are remarkable examples of corbelled dry-stone construction, a prehistoric building technique still in use in this region. These structures, dating from as early as the mid-14th century, characteristically feature pyramidal, domed, or conical roofs built up of corbelled limestone slabs. Although rural trulli can be found all along the Itria Valley, their highest concentration and best preserved examples of this architectural form are in the town of Alberobello, where there are over 1500 structures in the quarters of Rione Monti and Aja Piccola.

    This is an image of a widget in my house. Drag to IMAGES: Window crank. I have a few dozen of these too.

    I found this in my Mom's garage this week: Dragged to images but nuthin there.

  7. 1. The window thingy is "Casement Operator Assembly" This from numerous sites relating to this.

    Still have no idea about the round thingy...

  8. #2

    Looks sorta like what we look for: Antique 1800's French Art Cast Iron Wood Burning Stove
    THe knob on Dan's appears to have an insulating grid around it

    Could it be just a paperweight?

    Or a linen smoother

  9. Window thing is the handle of a Casement Window Operator.

  10. Got nowhere with Image search in different programs. Chopped your image into just the knob thing; found nothing. I give up, I'll take the hint. j

  11. Time for a big hint: #2 is part of a larger thing, and part of the problem with this Challenge is that it has been decontextualized. I can tell you that it's part of an older technology for writing. Does that help?

  12. I searched on "older technology for writing" and saw calligraphy. I searched on "calligraphy" and didn't get much so I tried "calligraphy tools" and it was mostly pens so I tried "calligraphy tools inkwell". One of the choices was etsy and it looks like the size and shape if the lid of an inkwell but the material doesn't look right. The shape and maybe size are correct.

    Off to a meeting....

  13. Aha, I think. IMAGES + old inkwell finds
    Yours is not pewter but it looks very much like a ship's or captain's inkwell. This explains the wide base. But it could a kid's with wide base to alleviate spillage problems in school.

    We had those desks with inkwell pots back in grqde 1. Red pen to hold a scratchy nib which had to be sucked by mouth when new to wash off whatever it was the was protecting it from rusting. I never swallowed one though. Quite the Challenge.

  14. I left out a few details because I was in a hurry getting ready for a hectic day.

    “Older technology for writing” took me to Wikipedia “List of obsolete technology”. I scrolled down the list and stopped at the line about fountain pens because I have about 12 fountain pens on my desk (mostly) filled with different colors of ink so I can color code my world. (I also have a lever filled pen with my father’s name engraved on it. I’m not sure – he passed away when I was a child – but I’m guessing he used it during high school/college years which would predate WWII. It still sorta works.) “Calligraphy” was in the “Still used for” column. Clicking on that eventually took me to the etsy site with inkwells. By that time I was suspecting some sort of inkwell. I am questioning that idea now because 3 inches seems too wide for such an item.

  15. with your hint: maybe,
    lid/cap for a typewriter ribbon tin or spool…? pre-plastic…
    Underwood — where's Tom Hanks when you need him?

  16. I am not seeing a post for today. The latest one I see is June 9. I have tried on two devices.