Common vintage tool is puzzling everyone. Can you guess what it was used for?

Pierre Van ZylLearn


vintage tool

The world moves quickly and new technologies come in regularly to displace the old. With generations growing up now who don’t even understand why we say “dial a phone number”, it’s easy to see how much has changed in the last 50 to 100 years. Recently, however, a photo was shared of a tool who’s name and purpose stumped even those with the longest of memories. Can you guess what it is?

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Guess the Vintage Tool

At first glance, the picture shared on the nostalgia website Do You Remember looks like it is most likely some type of gardening tool. It’s easy to think that, due to its scoop-like appearance with a sharper piece on the inside. This was a common guess in the comment thread, however, if you are thinking it is some type of trowel then you had better guess again.

In the photo, this mystery object does appear to be a hand-held object. The shape of the handle as well as the estimated size suggests so. Some guessed that rather than a garden tool, perhaps it was used sea-side to open up clams. 

Again, those people are also wrong.

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The Oil Spout

As it turns out, this vintage ‘tool’ is not really a tool after all – it is an oil spout. In the days before plastic bottles, oil came in cans. Cans are more difficult to pour oil from without it glugging everywhere and making a mess, so oil spouts were made to be inserted for a spill-free pour. 

Oil spouts were made to be reused, so there are actually many of them still kicking around. They were used primarily when you would go fill up at the gas station. An attendant would come out and pour oil from the can into your tank using the oil spout. Afterward, they would discard the can but keep the tool to use for subsequent customers.

Not many of us will remember the days before gas pumps or plastic oil containers, and oil spouts have become a mere relic of days gone by. Though no longer used, it is always fun to take a quick dive into history via vintage tools and other old items.

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