I have not found anyone who can tell me what this is yet, any ideals
It looks like an old ignition coil. The round thing with the holes in it is probably a wire wound ballast resistor which most likely is open. GM used coils that typically were round and had external attached ballast resistor. Look for a ceramic plate under that metal shield and some resistance wire wound circular and often then laid into a furrow made in the ceramic. The 2 hex thumb nuts on the top are probably the primary winding and the side connection could be the spark output with a ground being supplied maybe from the mounting brackets. Just guessing on the actual details but it has the look of an early GM ignition coil.
John, your description is right on the mark. here is another picture showing the coiled spring. also the outside appears to be made of a cardboard like material which is nailed together. it weights about 2lb or so.
Could it be a horn driver for a siren or loudspeaker?
What does the writing on it say?
ones says Bat the other says INT
It's an ignition coil, I believe from a Buick of the teens era.
My '14 Hudson had a coil just like that on it.
Actually it's still on it just not being used now.
An ignition coil. I have one similar to it on the shelf. The '25 Pierce Arrow I used to have had a similar one that still worked. I like to see those repaired and used on early cars. It is a detail too often overlooked.
Drive carefully, and enjoy, W2
A couple of them, a Delco and a Remy
On several of the coils I have seen of this "type" the resistance coil was physically broken at one end or the other and one snapped apart in the middle. If the winding is shorted then the resistor will overheat and fail but I think the resistor can fail simply from fatigue of its resistance wire being heated and cooled many times and then also vibration can cause metal fatigue. I repaired the resistor on 3 of them for a friend in my T club who screwed around with GM cars. Couldn't find any actual resistance specs so just did some seat of the pants guessing based upon the metal gauge. He said they worked fine but I wasn't too happy about not knowing what the resistance was supposed to be since resistance wire can vary over a very wide range and still look the same. The internal capacitor presents a separate problem and one might be better off simply hiding a modern one on the outside. The physical location of the capacitor isn't really too critical.
Wow you all where a great help thanks Kerry for the picture. So I guess the one I have is a Remy never would have thought there was a set of points inside.
Going to post another Item that I would like to know how it is used.
I do not believe the points are inside the coil. They are part of the distributor unit also shown in the illustration.