Tongs were used for collecting small rocks (less than 6-10 in. in diameter). Their reach compensated for the difficulty posed by the inflexibility of the astronauts' space suit in bending over to pick up samples. The 32-inch tongs (which replaced a shorter model used on Apollo 11 - 14) were stored in the large tool carrier on the lunar rover. This artifact was used for training.
These were transferred to the Museum in 1978 from NASA.