With spring cleaning on the brain, we thought we see if you could guess what this cleaning tool is...
It's a carpet beater. Pre-vacuum, carpets and rugs were laid over a wall or washing line and beaten to shake out the dust. In the U.K., early ads for Hoover vacuums extolled the machine's ability to beats-as-it-sweeps-as-it-cleans.
The second photograph is of a Finnish carpet beater, the design of which was first produced in the 1800's. Carpet beaters are, in fact, still used in Finland. If you'd rather admire the design than beat your carpets, like the collector above, carpet beaters are relatively inexpensive on ebay or from antique dealers.
• 1 photograph by Leo Reynolds of a carpet beater from Time and Tide, Museum of Great Yarmouth Life
Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England, UK
• 2 Finnish carpet beater from Kiosk, $39
• 3 Victorian carpet beaters
• 4 Spank, carpet beater from Alessi, $32
• 5 collection of carpet beaters from Country Living