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Tuesday, November 16, 2010

A Stand for All Seasons

This is one of my all-time favorites.  It scores a five out of five on all the major find-scoring criteria, on the McNeely-Rand scale anyway. By the way, there is no McNeely Rand scale, I wanted some kind of viable scale to judge all "finds" on, but unless I invent something, well...  If there were such a thing, the criteria would have to be 1) uniqueness - it has to be something no one has ever seen before - or at least not for a long time.  2) Utilitarian - It must have served a useful purpose and the score here would be based on the question: Does it still...?   3) Condition - It has to work. a pinball machine might have been painted with wonderful artwork, but if you can't play it...Tilt!   4) Value - Someone else has to want this for their collection, in my case this may never be known. 5) Assumed provenance - If it lacks its own story, then the story of how it was found, and the history written from research can fill in for the fact that it might have been Davinci's, but he tossed it.

I was at a Bethel estate sale when I found this in the attic.  It was $4, and I must have spent 15 minutes trying get it to do whatever it was supposed to do.  I recognized the manufacturer, Sawyer,  a seller of accessories for 8mm and 16mm projectors and other 50's & 60's AV equipment.  I think they may have been the earliest manufacturer of the Viewmaster.  Continuing to poke around this pandora's box, I found the release and its purpose began to unfold: 

It weigh's almost ten pounds, but I was convinced at first that it was a glorified power strip and a lazy susan. Then it popped.
My first thought was, "Oh crap! I broke it." How was I going to squish its guts back in too small a container? I figured, rather than retreat I would go for broke, or broken, as a worse case scenario. Instead, I got the "Wholly Grail!" reaction from myself and the other diggers in the attic.
As I lifted the black metal plate, the base slightly spun as the metal straps fell into place.  I placed my palm down on the plate, now 4 feet off the ground, and with all my weight, I couldn't get it to budge. The gadget-ologist inside me howled with delight. It was a masterpiece of design. My definition being, that to look at upon it, your first impression would be, "That can't work!" But oh how it does, and without a wobble; it is solid as a rock.  For my next trick, I hit the release and spun/folded it back to its original flat self. It's a much better idea to haggle with an item that is in its reduced state, rather than its most prominent.
So, there you have it. This Sawyer Projector Stand is a definite 5 out of 5 on the McNeely-Rand ultra fictitious fabulous find scale.

1 comment:

Found something unique? See something here you want to know more about? Start the discussion - I'll respond. Really!