Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Dastardly Benifit of Yard Sales

   It's been said that one mans trash is another mans treasure. This saying neatly encapsulates what is known today as "The Yard Sale"  also "The Estate Sale".

   I prefer the later because Estate Sales happen when an elderly member of society passes on and their surviving family need to clean out the now empty home or apartment. These sales are best when the person who moved on to the next world was indeed elderly and had worked in an interesting profession.
   The area where I live was once occupied by a thriving aerospace industry and the film industry. Lots of retired engineers, Special effects artists, and technically skilled workers here.
   I look for old tools, old technical books, old technology and, lucky for me, I actually find some interesting stuff!
   I love finding devises that need to be wound up to work- not toys- but other things like old Victrolas, Over sized Alarm Clocks, Wrist Watches etc.  I love that a power source can be the controlled release of energy from a wound strip of metal.  The mechanisms that regulate the speed of release, the escapements, are man made miracles.
   I realize  in a time where the entire Library of Congress can be accessed via the phones we carry, When complex surgeries and medical procedures can be achieved by operating room robots, when our cars just give us driving directions and video phone calls to China are free- It's hard to imagine that a hand wound time piece on the mantel, ticking its way through the hours, was once cutting edge.

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