Out of the Museum

Sorry for stumping you with last week’s mystery item

By: Carol Feineman, Editor
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Where: Beermann Plaza at 640 5th St.

When: Open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays

Free: Donations always accepted

We had a feeling that readers would be stumped with last week’s mystery item and we were right. No one responded with the right answer.

While this week’s mystery item pictured above is not a typical household item, some area residents definitely used it. Someone out there has to have the answer.

If you know what this week’s item is, please send answers to by Tuesday. We also like sharing your history about the mystery item.


Last week’s mystery item


Readers had company. The Lincoln Area Archives Museum docents were also stumped by the name and use of last week’s electric device, donated by Margo Flannigan, a new Lincoln resident.

After some research, the museum docents discovered wooden necktie presses were used in the 1910s and 1920s. The electric tie press came on the scene in the 1930s. 

The wooden tie presses used a cardboard cutout shaped like a tie.  The cutout was inserted into the tie and placed in the press overnight to straighten out wrinkles.  Some wooden tie presses had fancy, inlaid wood detailing. Today, they are vintage collectables.

The electric tie press was long and thin and slid into the tie to iron out wrinkles. They were produced through at least the mid-century.

The tie press was made by companies such as Pifco, Westinghouse, Empire Electric and Ty Boy by Hare Mfg. Co.

Museum docents ask readers who have more information on the tie press to call the museum at 916- 645-3800 or email

The Lincoln Area Archives Museum is open 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free but donations are always welcome.

­- Carol Feineman