|My collection of obsoleted goodness
||[Aug. 15th, 2006|03:20 pm]
I am writing this entry fully realizing that very few people share my interest in old junk. But I'm not bothered by this. It's my journal and I'll update it how I please, goddamnit!
I have, over the past several years, had ample opportunity to collect many pieces of obscure and obsolete technical equipment and electronics. I was sitting here, bored as all hell, performing a mental inventory of my collection, when I realized that it was worth documenting. So that is what I am doing.
For a long time, my chief interest was in cameras. My parents would go to garage sales every Saturday (and many Sundays). With nothing better to do, I would go with them, looking for old cameras to add to my collection. This was aided by my status as a volunteer at the Caledon ReUstore, which is like a perpetual garage sale. Anyhow, I currently have more cameras than I care to count. They range from the very old (1950's era cheapo box camera) to the old (1980's era SLR's). Of course, I have cameras that I use for actually taking pictures, but they aren't as interesting. Not surprisingly, the camera type that most people are looking to rid themselves of at garage sales is the Polaroid. I must have 20 Polaroid cameras, ranging in age from 10 to 40 years old. I also have many video cameras (8mm and Super8, mainly), including an 80's monstrosity that records onto a VCR unit that is worn slung over your shoulder. All of these things work, to the extent that I can test without film.
I also have an 8mm editing station, for splicing film together and viewing it, as well as 2 or 3 projectors for 8mm.
Once I got tired of cameras, I moved on to greener pastures. That's right, I started collecting slide rules. For the non-science types out there, slide rules are the predecessors to modern calculators. I found one at a garage sale, cleaned it up, learned how to use it on the internet, and then bought a few more. They are much harder to find than cameras, so I only have 5 of them.
On a similar note, I have a 20 pound, cast-iron behemoth of an adding machine sitting on my desk. It has 9 rows of 9 buttons, each of which represents the possible digit values of each of 9 decimal places. I can't tell you how much I love this thing. When you press the keys, they make the most satisfying clicking sounds imaginable. Oh, and the number is displayed on rotating drums.
I also have a brailler, which is a type-writer for the blind. It only has 7 keys, and produces braille writing in special paper.
Then there's the two four track reel-to-reel recorders (one of which works).
I recently acquired a planometer, which is a device used in cartography and drafting. It is currently the centerpiece of my collection. This tool measures the area enclosed by any closed shape, just by tracing around the perimeter with an indicator. Sounds crazy, I know, but it actually works, and the principle behind it is similar to computing a line integral in polar coordinates. Very cool indeed.
That's it for now, sorry for the length, but I really wanted to write this down while the mood was on me. And I'm sorry if the spelling is off, as this keyboard tends to drop letters, and I don't trust the spellchecker to get all of them.