If you're my age you'll remember seeing these roadside around construction zones. Its a Toledo Torch, sometimes known as a smudge pot. These were used before battery operated warning light blinkers were common. The design is simple and effective. The body holds fuel and a wick burns for about 24 hours on a full tank. Its weighted on the bottom so that if it gets knocked over it automatically rights itself.
They still make these, oddly enough, and you can get replacement wicks.They are used mostly for outdoor/deck lighting and citronella burning - which is how I'll use this one once I clean it up and repaint it.
This was my largest find of the day:
The woman selling it thought it was a camping stove.... I'd hate to haul this beast on a camping trip.
Its actually a Firepot made by the Clayton Lambert Mfg. Company. Clayton Lambert patented its designs for blowtorches and firepots in the late 1800's and continues to make them up into the 1970's. I have several of their blowtorches from the Teens and 20's. I found a firepot very similar to this one in a tool catalog from 1928, although this one probably isn't quite that old. A cast iron pot or tinner's hood originally sat on top and it was mainly used to melt lead and heat solder and soldering irons for plumbing applications back in the day.
Seems like as soon as I move something off the "to do" shelf in the workshop something new arrives to take its place in line :)