Tag Archives: Exploring Antique Technologies

Exploring Antique Technologies: Acing the Autopen – Helping Collectors Feel More Confident with Mechanical Writing

This 2011 photo depicts Bob Olding of Damilic Corp, a leading present-day manufacturer of signature machines, demonstrating the vintage Autopen Model 80. The machine uses levers and your favorite pen to duplicate programmed signatures, and while this can be a lifesaver for public officials, many in the government still use it sparingly. Though President Bush received a Justice Department Ruling in 2005 to sign a bill via autopen, he opted not to, and went out of his way to sign in person. Photo: via USA Today and Damilic Corp, Associated Press, 2011

by Kary Pardy   Footage from a 1950s 9-second video shows a grey, boxy machine using mechanical levers to exactly mimic the slopes and angles of a person’s handwriting. Since the invention and popularized use of the power autopen in the mid-1900s, it’s been making the lives of celebrities and politicians easier while at the […]

Exploring Antique Technologies: Leather Fire Buckets – Painted Americana at its Most Helpful 

1. Club fire buckets were decorated with their chosen logo, and few examples are as impressive as this Adroit Fire Club example from Salem, MA, ca. 1820. Emblazoned with the club’s name, the owner’s name, and the motto “Delay Not,” this striking example depicts men fighting to save a Federal-style house from burning. According to Sotheby’s, which sold the bucket for $40,000 in 2020, other examples from the Adroit Fire Club carry on the theme of the burning house surviving. photo: Sotheby’s, Triumphant Grace: Important Americana from the Collection of Barbara and Arun Singh, 2020

by Kary Pardy Imagine you lived in the 17th or 18th century. Chances are good that you would be surrounded by wooden buildings and that you would be very wary of fire. Firefighting technology at that time involved crews of people banding together to help their town or their neighbors, and while they did have some creative […]