Thursday, January 28, 2016

Sleeping at the Switch

Sometimes when I get wrapped up in writing articles here, I forget to check the online auctions for things that I’m actively looking for – things like an example made by John Hague, the early manufacturer who was a contemporary of Thomas Addison in New York.  The closest I had managed to come was a trade token for the maker.  Hague took out two patents: one, number 736, was issued on August 1, 1839, just a couple months after Thomas Addison received his:


Hague’s other patent was issued August 16, 1833, prior to the date the patent office began numbering patents – that one unfortunately, did not survive the 1836 fire at the patent office.

So it was that while I was busily writing articles in November, my friend Joe Nemecek was busily combing through the online auctions, and he found one.  Here it is, closed and open to show the unusual slider:



I photographed this one at the Philadelphia Show this year, and while the lighting was just terrible, I did manage to get some decent shots:


The nose of the pencil indicates that this is John Hague’s later design, since it bears the August 16, 1839 patent date:


Oh well, there’s three positives to this story: first, at least a friend of mine got it so I could take some pictures.  Second, I was able to get some pretty nice stories written.

But third and most importantly, now that Joe’s got one I won’t have to bid against him for the next one that comes along!

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