✅ SOLVED Weird broken circular brass item with a small glass tube?

USNFLYR

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Found this in my usual hunting grounds…Columbia River wharf ruins. Often I find tools, bottles and ceramic shards dating to 1900. I have found insulators and electrical items typical of the that time period. I'm not sure if this relic (trash) needed electricity, but the brass item appears to have a glass tube with a filament inside of it. It measures 3 inches by 3 inches (if not broken). It also has tiny screws and a ledge (lip) On one side. Maybe the screws held a backing in place? Maybe a mirror or refracting surface?

I am perplexed.

Any help on this would be appreciated!

8693E1A3-EE56-431A-9BEE-4C3557F964BB.jpeg
8BCFF8C9-60CE-4AB1-A7C6-A2FFBC275E58.jpeg
 
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tamrock

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Got me on what that is ? That is a weird broken circular thing with a small glass tube. I don't know where to start 😕
 
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CoinsAndThings

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I'm going to take a stab and say it's part of a nautical signal mirror. Like one that was used to signal from one ship to another. So yes I'm thinking there was a mirror behind it.
 
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PetesPockets55

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They had glass tubes in Model T radiator caps?

EDIT: Time to answer my own question. Yes they did.
The two screws look spaced too far apart if there was steam pressure behind it. I was thinking these screws might have held a piece of glass in place?

What's intriguing is something provided enough energy to break the metal but the tube wasn't broken.

There is a straight "protrusion" north in the first image. Could there have been one to the bottom as well giving this piece symmetry and allowing it to pivot on an axis, in line with the glass tube?

IMHO, it also appears the small roundish metal at the bottom of the tube might have continued on both sides of the tube to protect it, adding to the symmetry.

It might be too small for a signaling light but Coinsandthings might be on to something if it's not the radiator cap.

My initial thought was some kind of observation panel to the interior of something but the glass tube doesn't seem to fit even if it was part of a temperature gauge (thermometer).
 
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USNFLYR

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They had glass tubes in Model T radiator caps?

EDIT: Time to answer my own question. Yes they did.
The two screws look spaced too far apart if there was steam pressure behind it. I was thinking these screws might have held a piece of glass in place?

What's intriguing is something provided enough energy to break the metal but the tube wasn't broken.

There is a straight "protrusion" north in the first image. Could there have been one to the bottom as well giving this piece symmetry and allowing it to pivot on an axis, in line with the glass tube?

IMHO, it also appears the small roundish metal at the bottom of the tube might have continued on both sides of the tube to protect it, adding to the symmetry.

It might be too small for a signaling light but Coinsandthings might be on to something if it's not the radiator cap.

My initial thought was some kind of observation panel to the interior of something but the glass tube doesn't seem to fit even if it was part of a temperature gauge (thermometer).
Pete, this is why I love Treasure Net...so many people contribute and really rally to the answer. Thanks for chiming in. I spent time researching signaling devices as I was sure it was used on a pier....so someone ditched their radiator thermometer into the river...cool!
 
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Tony in SC

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They had glass tubes in Model T radiator caps?

EDIT: Time to answer my own question. Yes they did.
The two screws look spaced too far apart if there was steam pressure behind it. I was thinking these screws might have held a piece of glass in place?

What's intriguing is something provided enough energy to break the metal but the tube wasn't broken.

There is a straight "protrusion" north in the first image. Could there have been one to the bottom as well giving this piece symmetry and allowing it to pivot on an axis, in line with the glass tube?

IMHO, it also appears the small roundish metal at the bottom of the tube might have continued on both sides of the tube to protect it, adding to the symmetry.

It might be too small for a signaling light but Coinsandthings might be on to something if it's not the radiator cap.

My initial thought was some kind of observation panel to the interior of something but the glass tube doesn't seem to fit even if it was part of a temperature gauge (thermometer).
On the Model T it would have been an addon, but came standard on more expensive cars.
 
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USNFLYR

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View attachment 2047640

As suggested, it is the guts of a Moto Meter type radiator cap. The glass tube was a thermometer. 1910's - 20's.
DC Matt,

Thanks for solving the riddle. I"ll change it over the "SOLVED" soon. I hope people still jump on and see the fruits of your labor...

...I guess now I need to find the rest of the ornament. Those wings would look pretty cool on my shelf!
 
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releventchair

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Pete, this is why I love Treasure Net...so many people contribute and really rally to the answer. Thanks for chiming in. I spent time researching signaling devices as I was sure it was used on a pier....so someone ditched their radiator thermometer into the river...cool!
One never knows for sure how some items so far out of "normal" context end up where they do.

Given ingenuity born of necessity , an auto engine could be (and many have been) found aboard a water craft.

Here's some idea about early engines being a source.


 
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