Obscure Cultural Trivia Contest: The Demon

I just got back from the Allgäu and/or upper Swabia, and quite enjoyed it. Some comments as time permits. For now, your mission is to identify this object:

Ye Gods, my tongue has been fused to my lower jaw!!

A few hints: it was made in 1730, and has a very specific purpose in the manufacture of a pretty common thing that is still very much in use today.

UPDATE: Kudos to Mathias Warkus, who correctly identified this as a spout for bran during the milling process. During the milling, the bran, which nobody wanted to eat in their bread back in 1730, was pushed to the side and fell out of this demon's mouth. The German name for this object is Kleiekotzer, 'bran-puker.' I spotted it in the German Bread Museum in Ulm, one of the many ludicrously specific small museums in Germany (including the German Packaging Museum in Heidelberg and the German Blade Museum in Solingen).

10 thoughts on “Obscure Cultural Trivia Contest: The Demon

  1. Well, I see a tongue. My guess is that it was used to put some water in it in order to keep or make something easily wet – instead of licking it with a real tongue.

    I don’t know what pretty common thing that could be, which needed licking or wetting in order to be made.

    However, they really should install such a demon on every German postage stamp vending machine. You put money in such a machine and get stamps – so far so good. But the stamps fall into a pit where thousand dirty hands have been before. And those stamps are not self-adhesive, no! They are supposed to be licked, otherwise they won’t stick to your envelope. It’s disgusting! It’s barbaric! It’s a scandal! If there is ever a really dangerous virus around, we are all lost. There will be piles of rotten bodies next to every postage stamp vending machine across the country. So, papers and magazines around the world, can you get it? Don’t write about the anal character of the Germans. It’s oral, stupid!


  2. @ noribori

    Somebody Swedish had this idea way before you (Sjöwall/Wahlöö: “Stålsprånget”, 1968) – and what a wonderfully suspense-packed story that is!


  3. Matthias you convinced me: This certainly is a flour outlet of a mill.

    Before I had read your comment I was wondering about a meat mincer.

    Btw, have I missed the official demasking of that expressive countenance?


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