I have had so much trouble dragging my brain into 2012 so I'm making an effort to post a teaser subject. I had to read about these so look and learn.
They are from the period 1850 - 1910. Pretty aren't they, gorgeous colours and I bet you can't tell me what they are. You couldn't because I didn't know and I'm rooly smart.
These glass balls with a handle length neck and fragile walls were filled with a chemical, carbon tetrachloride or an ammonia/salt water solution and, wait for it, were an early form of fire extinguisher.
These fire grenades were mounted on walls in homes, hotels, schools and churches. Thrown at a burning area, they would break and the chemical would eliminate any oxygen, albeit briefly, to help extinguish the flames.
The most common shape were balls about 6 inches in diameter and were fluted, quilted, diamond patterned or embossed with the makers name. The colours were beautiful, cobalt blue, green, amber, clear or ruby red.
They went the way of the dinosaurs when hose style fire extinguishers took over in the early 1900's. Much more effective but not quite as pretty.
Now I have to find a title that won't bring budding terrorists to the blog looking for grenades.