This is my favorite gadget of all time and I used it constantly when I was crocheting a lot of doilies back in the 1980's. You unhook the holder from the wrist bracelet, slip a crochet ball of thread on and re-clip. It hangs from your wrist, the ball sits on the circle, which swivels down, and works like a dream. No more chasing the ball around when it falls out of the basket.
This is an ad from the Evening Post, Rōrahi LXXXVII, Putanga 3, 5 Kohitātea 1914, Page 9. That's Maori for Evening Post, Volume LXXXVII, Issue 3, 5 January 1914, Page 9.
A search for the patent revealed that it is probably a Canadian or English patent and not online. The maker is not listed on the item.
I just found this from an auction site in Sussex, which confirms my English origin theory.