Shoebox Comptometers - What's Up
April 18, 1999... Wooden Comptomterer #135 Brings $3250!
At an early morning eBay auction, 8 bidders submitted some 15 bids in a hotly contested auction for what will probably prove to be the oldest serialized Comptometer in existance. Hi interest in this Compt was generated when the seller (new to eBay) pulled a prior posting only to relist it a few days later. Clearly, most bidders welcomed a second "crack" at this rare jewel.
The serial number on this was originally reported as #136, something that (in this case) matters not one whit.
April 30, 1999... 1912 "shoebox" Burroughs Calculator Acquired!
I have just bidin one of the few surviving examples of this Comptometer knockoff and will be taking delivery within a couple of weeks. About the same time, I should be receivng copies of the two covering patents. So we should have a lot more technical information about just how much of Felt's original off-patent design was utilized and how much new Burroughs had to contibute to the art of key-driven calculators at that time.
June 10, 1999... 1904 A-model Comptometer arrives!
When it rains... On May 9, 1999, I managed to pauperize myself by bidding in a rare A-model Compt at a fair but rather high price. It arrived two days ago and I'll be delving into its secrets over the next few weeks and, possibly, starting a restoration as well.
March 20,2000... Wooden-cased SN-5181 brings $4161 on eBay auction!
A beautiful example of this earliest model Comptometer has eclipsed the $3250 paid just last April (see above) for the earliest known serialized Compt. There were a total of 26 bids by 8 bidders with the decision coming in the final seconds of the auction.
Dispite the differences in condition, this auction would appear to set a new high-water mark for these scarce workhorses of the 19th Century. This machine, altho apparantly in as near-mint condition as one is apt to find, was made rather late in the model-run (SN-6121 is the highest recorded for a Wooden-cased machine). So prices, at least of the earlier models do appear to be rising.
Last December, I was able to acquire a wooden-cased machine privately (SN-5626) in rather poor condition. It will require some considerable t.l.c. to bring it up to par with these new arrivals, however. I'll post some before and after shots later.
May,2006...Personal collection donated to Felt Estate
This month I was forced to move from a cabin I had occupied for the previous 19 years as the owner wished to sell the property. At about the same time, the Felt Estate project had been largely completed. Because of my advanced years (meaning "I'm old as sin") and the need to downsize my life, I decided to simply donate the collection to this non-profit project. They will be establishing a museum to house the collection and, no doubt be documenting it as time permits.
Sept 28,2006... Wooden-cased SN-71 brings $8601 on eBay auction!
In a hotly contested auction, a record high price has been paid by bidder 'srgrb' who managed to nose out 4 motivated others in, literally, the final 5 seconds! One wonders what how high a price might be awarded should a sub-50 SN machine appear.
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