lighter and ashtraysEvery year Lycoming County Fair goers are given the opportunity to solve a puzzle - what is the historical artifact? Each year, Taber Museum Executive Director outdoes himself by finding a more obscure object to tease the minds of the guessers.


The 2019 object, an innocuous looking porcelain evergreen tree, turned out to be something quite different from the what most visitors expected. What is the object - a cigarette lighter and stacking ashtrays.

By the end of Fair week the guessing box was filled with entries. As the slips of paper were pulled out of the box, the first person to have the right answer won a gift certificate to Otto’s bookstore. This year’s winner was Carol Johnson, who correctly identified the artifact as a ‘lighter and ashtrays”. It is in the form of a Christmas tree. The ashtrays are stackable and the top of the tree reveals the lighter. Ms. Johnson remembers her mother having one!

Other correct guesses included those by Alex; Ashley Day; Julie Hammond; Sarah Hammond; Dennis Janney; and Brenda Silverstrim. Several people guessed ashtrays or a lighter, but the artifact slip said the Christmas tree had two purposes! Both had to have been guessed. A list of all the variant guesses is extensive, but the most frequent guesses were a candleholder, candy dish, jewelry box, music box, and a Christmas tree ornament. There were a total of ninety-eight guesses.

The museum is grateful to all those who took a guess.

Fair stand