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  1. #1

    Default Help with an Architectural Question about Vintage Paris, France

    This is a question that has been stumping my networks of photographers and architects, literally, around the world. It finally occurred to me that DetroitYES has a forum and a very knowledgeable readership that has always answered every question I have ever posed. Here it is in a nutshell, "This photo was taken in 1914 at 22 rue Saint-Sauveur in the 2nd Arrondissement in Paris, France. This structure no longer exists but it was part of what was known as "the old Paris". What I would like to ask someone, anyone to do is to look at this photo and notice the doorway that is to the left of center in the photo. There is an irregular shaped passageway and the doorway is right next to and to the left of this passageway. If you look above the doorway you will see a rectangular looking piece of either wood or metal that looks attached on both sides about one-third of the way down on either side of the doorway. Then it looks like it is hanging from the top down at approximately a 45 degree angle that's held by what looks like metal or some such material holding it at that angle. I hope I have explain this well enough for you to know what I am talking about. Does anyone out there know what this thing is that is hanging is and/or what purpose it serves. Sometimes these old photos and/images show us something that is either archaic or so old that it is no longer used. Then it becomes what is it? The guesses so far have been it is some sort of security device that is lowered at night to keep someone from making an unauthorized entry, another is that it is a chute of some sort that receives some i'e' bags or material from the roof and the 45 degree angle allows whatever is being dispatched to be directed into the doorway, or still another is that there is a mirror on the side of the 45 degree angled device that shines light into the space to give more light during the daylight hours. Thanks."
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  2. #2

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    I figured it was a "broken" sign, but the mirror idea seems to work too. Maybe it is used to dry linen/cloth?

  3. #3

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    I like that idea of it being used "Maybe it is used to dry linen/cloth?" But, somehow or other it doesn't seem to fit. I have this query out to some photographic and architectural forums in Paris but I have not received any answers. The reason I came to DetroitYes was because I have yet to see even the most obscure questions go unanswered. I thought that people like Lowell, Randy, Hornwrecker, Jjaba and other knowledgeable members that have a good deal of knowledge about things architecturally might help out with some answers to this mystery.

  4. #4

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    It's an old French Alley Guard to stop les hommes peeing from an upstairs window into an Alley, with an adjustable angle to cater for long shooters. Unless of course it's a door Awning mounted to a French spec.
    Last edited by coracle; May-10-15 at 07:10 AM.

  5. #5

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    That's an interesting question. It could have been use as a chute for throwing a manufactured product into a basket maybe. There is that piece of furniture like a stall that suggests there could have been a street seller there.

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  7. #7

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    I like "a chute" idea because it makes sense, it's practical and it's a labor saver. It could have been something manufactured or repaired in the upper floor and instead of having to carry it down what could be easier than dropping it in a chute. Depending upon what the item was there could have been a basket, hamper or some other kind of container that could have been placed at the bottom of "the chute" so to speak. I still haven't heard a word from either photographers or architects in Paris, yet. Leave it for the "gang from Detroit" to come up with answers which is why I posted it here. Jimaz, thank you for identifying the photographer!

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