This device is an early form of a desktop stapler. Manufactured by the Eveready Manufacturing Company of Boston, it was a means of fastening papers together. An attached spool of metal tape was used to create a staple with each use. The type of machine owned by Dr. Turner was patented by Eveready in 1915, and was marketed from 1916 until 1942; the piece in the Anacostia's collection (2003.0032.394) is missing its spool of metal tape.
Below is a photograph of a similar machine found through research, and that contains the spool or "roller."