Saturday, January 30, 2010

I love my job. Or, my side trip into the world of Lathes.

Yesterday I went to a church sale, and found an interesting hardbound book of advertising circulars for the American Tool Works company. Most of them were for Lathes and Shapers, and if you ask me what exactly a Lathe or a Shaper does I'm sure I could come up with the wrong answer fairly quickly.

But, the graphics in these were so amazing, and they were all in such nice shape, that I decided to bring it home and see if I could find out more about it. It just looked like one of those things that *someone* out there might be interested in - and guess what, I was right!

I searched on eBay and didn't find anything, so I hit Google. After a long time and many combinations of keywords, I found one guy who had posted on a message board for Machinists linking to his website where he had posted a few scans of very similar ATW circulars.

I found his email and dropped him a note, explaining what I had found. He was interested, and asked for photos. I snapped some and sent them off, and I had a reply from him this morning saying that my book is from the 30's and it was likely used by an ATW salesman to promote the line of products.

He says:
"I agree on the 30's vintage of the collection, I don't have much documentation of that time-period, so the entire set is of considerable interest- interestingly, both for what it does and does not contain. Missing is any material on the line of lathes that appeared in the late 30's, which ATW continued to build up until the 70's. Additionally, the planers and most models of shapers are gone, previously the surmise was they were gone in the 30's, here is some confirmation."

Now how cool is that? I love my job, and this is why. Here is something I found that is not a common item, and that is not of interest to 99.9% of the general population. But, due to the wonders of the internet, I found someone who really values it and the information that it contains. He's buying the book, and not only am I getting a sale, I get to send it to a really nice guy who will be really happy to have it. That's job satisfaction, folks.

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Kat said...

I love it when niche items like this find a home where you just know they're going to be loved.

Janelle said...

There's definitely a niche for old tools and tool manuals/catalogs. My husband collects old hand planes and other old tools, and some of that stuff can go for major money! He just buys the cheapies and cleans them up! I'm going to show him your pictures when he comes in from sledding.

Apron Thrift Girl said...

I must admit that every day when I think about what I do, I feel a taste of pure pleasure. Our job never gets old and I think one of the side benefits is the people we meet. I loved your story about finding this book and where it eventually ended up.

Louise said...

who knew that lathes and shapers could look so good?!