1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Mystery Knobs

There's something I've been wondering about since we first bought the house, but I keep forgetting to post about it.

Our back door has a window in it, two sidelights and a transom. The windows on each side are tall and skinny with a divider separating the two panes, but they are not double hung. They have thick layers of paint over them, so it's possible they might open in some way but none that's obvious.

Then at the bottom of each window is a little knob:

The knob turns freely from the outside, and has a screw-like end that pokes through the middle of the window sash and out the other side. It looks like there might be a corresponding hole on the underside of the window frame above the screw end.

For the life of me, I can't figure out what this thing does/did. The knobs are shaped somewhat like an old-fashioned doorbell twist, but they can't be that. We've had one suggestion that they could've once controlled window blinds. But then why would the knobs be on the outside?

It's weird all around, and I've seen nothing like it in any of our neighbors' houses. I'm hoping someone out there has seen one before or has an educated guess.



John said...

Sorry, I haven't a clue. Never seen something quite like that before.

11:56 AM  
HomeImprovementNinja said...

Maybe there were little girly shades on the side panels and those nobby thingies were to tie the shade down.

1:49 PM  
Anonymous said...

There might have been some sort of thingee on the inside that helped keep the windows open.

– Texas T-bone

8:06 AM  
Anonymous said...

We have these on our late 1800s house. They hold the window open. The knobs twist, but they should also pull out by a 1/2 inch or so unless they've been painted or glued in place (there's some sort of spring mechanism inside). Once you open the window, the knob settles into the corresponding hole above. That way you don't have to use a stick to prop the window open.

11:30 AM  
Kristin said...

Hurray! Anonymous saves the day! We'll have to look into that. It sounds like a reasonable explanation.

12:23 PM  

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