Sunday, August 9, 2015

Overhead Projector, Edison Old Record Player, Polaroid

Here's my most recent acquisitions for I drove around this weekend and stopped at a few local antique stores and wow, look what I found!

I bought an old chemistry set. I found it in a junk store and had always wanted one. I took it to my office and showed it to the science whizzes in the office. Their recommendation: get that thing out of here. Dangerous even when it was new. Now, with expired chemicals and really old containers, and a number of pregnant women in the office; NOPE, get it out of here. So I did. Sigh.

After lots of searching, I finally bought an overhead projector on Ebay. We used these through school and college and through half of my professional career (if you are sharp you can figure out my age from that!).
Overhead Projector for Transparencies

I also bought in a junk store a really old record player. It's not really a record player since the "records" are rolls. I think it was the original device invented by Edison. I haven't had a chance to really try it or research it yet but I'm super psyched. It's called Edison Gold Molded Records.

Edison Gold Molded Records
Edison Phonograph Cylinders

I started reading about it on the University of California website. Here's a little info:

The "Gold-Moulded" process, developed in 1902, significantly ameliorated these limitations (ed: uneven quality, limited number of quality copies etc). The process involved creating a metal mould from a wax master; a brown wax blank could then be put inside the resulting mould and subjected to a preestablished and precisely calibrated level of heat. As the blank expanded, the grooves would be pressed into the blank, and after cooling, the newly moulded cylinder could be removed from the mould. The "gold" from its namesake is derived from the trace levels of the metal that were applied as a conductive agent in creating the initial mould from the wax master.
With Edison Gold-Moulded cylinders, playback speed was standardized at 160 revolutions per minute (RPM). The number of grooves on gold-moulded cylinders remained the same as for brown wax cylinders, at 100 TPI, or threads per inch.

I've also bought this weekend two more school desks.

And a very old Polaroid Land Camera with a big old fashioned flash.  A special call-out and thanks to Neil of JamesRoss Advertising who is a valued subcontractor for us and who found and donated this treasure to the collection.
(PS His firm is in no way responsible for the design of this blog. That is entirely my fault!)

Although I didn't buy it, I did take a picture of this old movie projector from a theater in Colorado that I visited last week. I did try to buy the equipment but apparently, it's not for sale.  Of course, I can't wait to get onto Ebay and see what is possible.


Lastly, I have bid on a number of old telephone switch boards on Ebay but I haven't bought one yet. Stay tuned for that too.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Record Players in Every Classroom

When I was in school (the 60s and 70s), there was a record player in a beige box in every single classroom.

This one is a Newcomb solid state record player. There are three speeds: 33, 45, and 78. The 33 was the dominant speed used for LP (long play) full size records. The 45 and 78 were used for little records or "singles", as in a single song.

It is my impression that every classroom that I was in had the same model. This was my impression, does anyone have any statistics on whether it's true? Did Necomb just have a dominant market share in my part of the country (DC) or did they have record players in every classroom in every school nationwide? Or were there multiple vendors of beige record players in a box?

I think these were a standard in classrooms right up to the end of the century (I can't tell you how weird it is to say that about the year 2000!).

The record players were often used as the sound track with the educational filmstrips that were also in use at that time.  While the record player stayed in the classroom, the filmstrip projector, hte movie projector,a nd the overhead projector were kept in the AV closet and brought to our room on the AV cart by the AV aides.

Friday, March 27, 2015

The Thinking Machine circa 1961

This film is very late 50s, early 60s. Black and white, there's an actor talking to an MIT Professor about digital computers about these new "thinking" machines. The words computer and digital were very exotic at that point.

It's from the “Tomorrow” television series produced by CBS for MIT for MIT’s Centennial in 1961.  Film courtesy of

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Poky Little Puppy

Poky Little Puppy Golden Book
The Poky Little Puppy Golden Book
When I was little, my mom would read me this story or sometimes, she would put on the record of the Poky Little Puppy. I remember it as a gem of a book.

As  look around the web, I realize that this little book is extremely well-known.  Many sites include this same phrase:

One of the original 12 Little Golden Books published in 1942, The Poky Little Puppy has sold nearly 15 million copies since 1942, making it one of the most popular children’s books of all time. Now this curious little puppy is ready to win the hearts and minds of a new generation of kids...It written by   Janette Sebring Lowrey and illustrated by Gustaf Tenggren.
"Don't Ever Dig Holes Under this Fence"  from The Poky Little Puppy
"Don't Ever Dig Holes Under this Fence"
from The Poky Little Puppy

My memory of parts of the book runs deep:

And when they got to the top fo the hill, they counted themselves: one, two, three, four. One little puppy wasn't there...

"Now where in the world is that poky little puppy?" they wondered. For he certainly wasn't on top of the hill....

And down they went to see, roly-poly, pell-mell, tumble-bumble, till they came to the green grass...

"So you're the little puppies who dig holes under fences!" she said. "No rise pudding tonight!" And she made them go straight to bed."

See related articles on Little Golden Books and Big Little Books.