Any ideas on the purpose of this tool? It's about 15" long and spring loaded, and very heavy duty. There's a ball on one of the jaws that fits into a hole on the other. The inside diameter of the hole is about the size of a quarter. The ball is about 1/8" smaller than the inside of the hole, so it doesn't touch the sides of the hole when compressed. The only "clue" I have as to the purpose is that I found it in the basement of a former plumber.
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These were also used for people, generally men, who had "Gout". Gout attacks would create a very tender, sore, spot usually at the joint where the big toe joins the foot. By creating a "outward bump-shaped area" at this point of the shoe, the wearer could better tolerate having the shoe on. Ask me how I know this