If you had a spitjack like this one, you could roast your Thanksgiving turkey in the fireplace. The spitjack uses a clockwork mechanism and a counterweight to turn meat placed on a spit at hearth level. A tremendous convenience for 17th & 18th century cooks.
Antique spitjacks are relatively rare, but they do appear in the inventories of a few dealers and they come up at auction from time to time. The one pictured here belongs to Colonial Williamsburg. Not to worry though, if you can’t live without one of your own Ball & Ball Hardware makes a gorgeous reproduction which you can find here.