Saturday, September 07, 2013

History featured at Garfield County Fair

I always get a charge out of the 4H exhibits every year, being a former 4Her myself, but there's been a new 4H category added: robots.  As a former robotic technician as well (nothing fancy--just yer average industrial "peanut picker" type), I was interested in seeing whatever might have been entered in this category.  As I went in the door of the Expo Center, I was greeted by a very long floor display of the map of the Chisholm Trail across Oklahoma counties up into Kansas.

There were some old photos of previous Garfield County fairs, too...

The order of the photos here are from this sign, which was on the right-most side, progressing to the left...

There were displays of antiques among their Collections category, and by golly I think I might enter that one myself.  Coffee pots, perhaps, or early electric appliances. One coffee pot I know would be of interest would be the coffee pot model that got the first patent as a percolator.

It's a stove-top percolator, and yes, it's top-heavy and unstable in use. It has a small, shallow dent on the other side that doesn't surprise me.  The patent information is stamped in the grounds basket...

And I'm sure any of my antique radios/Heathkits would qualify. I don't think I would trust anything as fragile as my antique recordings collection which not only encompass my epoxy platters and cylinders but also a wire recording.

I'm sure these antique fans would qualify, and they do still work...BUT!...the variable speed arrangement on both are a big safety risk because of the earliness of electricity use.  They both use voltage drops (tapped resistance strip in the base) instead of armature winding taps used today.  In operation, the base gets very very hot (temperature) and could cause burns.  I deliberately disconnected the motor's windings from the switch with the intention of isolating the voltage drop better; I also reconditioned the oscillator gear box.

Those blades are made of rubber, by the way.

The next one is smaller but more dangerous to operate, which is why the bottom half of the base is missing and sitting in the MaƱana Project box at the moment. The voltage divider resistance strip in this one was fragile, isolated only by a thin strip of mica, a natural rock in common use back then, but not now, so replacement parts in that respect are extremely difficult. The wiring sheath was also an issue until I found out that the insulation wrapping was actually silk.  Still, natural rubber was used for wire insulation and was likely cracked and unsafe.

Anybody interested in viewing my other antiques can view two albums on Pinterest: Retroblast and My T.A.R.D.I.S.  Same is true on Facebook, although one more album exists on Pinterest: Antique Technology, in which may be found re-pins related to steampunk. Items designated as "My T.A.R.D.I.S." are in actual time travel use (except for the fish fingers and custard, of course).

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