In article <201303281549.r2SFnU3J091153 at mx1.ezwind.net>,
John Foust <jfoust at threedee.com> writes:
The unit is a Flexowriter model 2201 with the model
and the metal table.
Unfortunately it's big and bulky, so that presents a problem for most
people as they are unwilling to either store it or have it freight
shipped to them.
That said, the Selectadata part is not common and IMO worthy of
saving as the part of the story of automating business processes
before the widespread deployment of computers. The CHM catalog has
lots of Friden calculators, documents and Flexowriters in their
collection, but I didn't find anything on Selectadata.
devices. I'll receive pictures later today. It
sounds like it's intact,
with full docs, under dust covers, perhaps much like this one:
At the very least, documents should be rescued.
I plan to give the owner an honest estimation of its
rarity and value,
and let them decide if they'd like me to have it.
Rarity is much easier to peg than value. I get the impression from my
research that flexowriters and associated equipment were quite common
at one point, but that they weren't sexy enough for computer
collectors to keep them and they're big and heavy, so most of the time
they just got junked. While they are similar to teletypes, there are
lots of people with a teletype fetish, but hardly anyone with a
flexowriter fetish, which is another reason that they haven't been
saved very often.
I rescued a bunch from the Black Hole before they shut down, but
didn't have room in my trailer to take the Flexowriter desks and so-on
that they also had. The desks at the Black Hole didn't have any
associated circuitry, they were just furniture, but it would still
have been nice to rescue that along with the machines themselves.
So as far as rarity goes, I'd say not common.
As far as value? Well, they have very little actual scrap value, just
what you'd get for the steel, since they aren't full of chips and gold
edge finger connectors on circuit boards. Since collectors have less
interest in flexowriters than teletypes, I'd gauge market value in the
"free if you haul it away for me" category, but maybe other people
would disagree. Everything I see with a successful sale on ebay is
regarding the Friden calculators with the sole exception of some
flexowriter schematics that sold for $20.
I'm not anywhere near Wisconsin myself, so I'm not a good candidate
for the rescue of this equipment, but I would like to see the
equipment rescued if possible and if that's difficult/prohibitive,
then at least the documentation should be rescued.
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