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  • £1m of old technology
  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • ofoldtechnology�1m

£1m of old technology

You know how it is. You pay a big chunk of cash to get state of the art technology which does things never thought possible, and six months later it's so out of date that you can't sell it to anyone, except possibly as a paperweight.

Well, it's not always true. Tomorrow, there are 758 items representing classic and antique technology, courtesy of Edinburgh collector Michael Bennett-Levy and his three decade fascination with it.

Included within the collection are 26 pre-war television sets, which is impressive as there are only thought to be around 500 still in existence at all. Likewise there are the producer's workingpapers for the opening of the BBC television service on November 2 1936.

"The first examples in any field of antiques are always important regardless of any other considerations." commented Bennett-Levy, voicing a common theme in collecting.

The pieces span a broad timescale. The most recent examples include the first LED-based pocket calculators from 1971 (est £250 each), but there is also a microscope from the 1830s (est £20,000) and even a few 'electrostatic friction generators', including one from 1770.

Parts from a LEO II are expected to raise a lot of interest. LEO II was the very first commercial computer but only 13 were made, starting in May 1958. Also quite remarkable is a Whimshurst X-ray machine, thought to be worth £7,000 to £10,000.

Classic technology seems to be coming into its own, with one of the first Apple Macs (which belonged to the creator of Star Trek) also arousing interest at auction.

Most of the other lots are a range of clocks of all ages and a selection of barometers. The sale takes place in Knightsbridge, London.

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  • Post author
    Paul Fraser
  • ofoldtechnology�1m