WHEN I WAS A KID, we put this thing on the handlebars of our bikes. We thought it made us look fast…and I was the fastest kid on two wheels in my neighborhood…and the neighborhoods around my neighborhood!
Here’s what you called it:
That looks like it might be a capo for a clarinet — if such a thing existed. Seriously, I have no clue.
I think it’s a steering knob. My papaw had a similar one on the tractor back when there was no such option as power steering.
Bill Stickels III:
I think this week’s “What is it?” is a steering wheel knob for a car. They were meant to make for easier one-handed steering, especially turning with older cars that didn’t have as tight of a turn ratio as today’s models. I haven’t seen many of them live, but I remember an episode of the original “MacGyver” where he had to use it as a projectile to stop some bad guys who were chasing him.
Ummm, a fancy cigar cutter for the stylish man of the ’40s??
It’s a steering wheel spinner. It attaches to the steering wheel and allows you to steer your car with one hand or the palm of your hand. I once heard someone refer to it as a “suicide spinner.”
We called it a “suicide knob.” And when it was put on a car steering wheel, it looked like this:
But we had never heard of Brodie and we liked the idea of calling it a “suicide knob” because it gave us a sense of derring-do and youthful heroism. Those guys who had suicide knobs on their handlebars were the superheroes of that time.
Most of the time, you’d find a Brodie knob on the steering wheels of cars, but especially trucks, because it made steering (especially parallel parking) with one hand easier.
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