When you buy an old home, there are a few things that you can expect to come along with it. Those things are, in no particular order - ghosts, expensive renovation costs, and neat, antique treasures. I'm here to talk about that third option, specifically, an item that was recently discovered in a 100-year-old house. It's something I have never seen before.

I've been in several old homes before, and I've seen many episodes of Antiques Roadshow, but I have never seen a contraption like this. My first guess was that it was some sort of toy, or perhaps a noisemaker or instrument. I must admit that my immature sense of humor took my thoughts in a different direction. I will also admit that I don't think I ever would have guessed what this thing actually is, although it makes perfect sense now that I know.

Photo by Nacho Fernández on Unsplash
Photo by Nacho Fernández on Unsplash

So, What Is This Thing?

What was found hanging in that old basement is an antique razor blade sharpener, most likely a Kenberry Blade Sharpener. Based on my research, this kind of device was used back in the 1930s when razor blades, like so many things at that time, were not as readily available as they are now. Folks needed to make their blades last as long as possible. According to the directions on the Kenberry packaging, users should "Draw blade between balls 3 or 4 times very lightly. Don't bear on." My guess is, that doing this would help remove burs from the blade as well as straighten it out. What a simple, but brilliant little gadget, right?

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Antique sharpeners like this are kind of hard to come by. Following a few different searches, I couldn't seem to find them in any stores. I did see a few of them on sites like Etsy and eBay, but many of them were listed as out of stock. If you enjoy collecting antiques, this would definitely make a nice addition to your collection. If nothing else it would make a great conversation starter for you and your guests.

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