Every now and then, I get a request from a reader, inquiring about a particular machine. “What is it?” they ask. “Is it valuable?” My first reaction is to wonder why they haven’t Googled it, but then I relent. A few clicks later, boom, I’ve got an answer.
Rewind to 1947. Some soul finds an odd-looking machine in storage and wonders about its history. In the days before Google, citizens wrote their local newspapers, who in turn wrote their readers. Such was the case for a recovered Calligraph, which stumped everyone including the resourceful minds at the Waxahachie Daily Light. “Its origin, its history is unknown,” wrote the paper. “All that remains is a description” — which they amply provide.
The paper concludes with the following thought:
“With a scrub brush and patience, the old machine might have possibilities. And though it can’t write its own forgotten lore, it might, with the dust shaken from its interior, serve a new generation.”
Here’s the article:
From The Waxahachie Daily Light (Waxahachie, Texas), Aug. 29, 1947.
© 2016, Mark Adams. All rights reserved.
This was a fascinating read. That machine was only like 60 years old at the time, it’s amazing no one had a clue what it was. Would something from 1955 or so be so mysterious to us? I guess we have a lot more resources now.