Published: December 10, 2002
COLOGNE, GERMANY – A specialty auction of technical antiques on November 30 by Auction Team Breker offered an early internal combustion engine, invented in 1870 by Nicolaus August Otto and Eugen Langen in Cologne. The engine was sold after intense bidding to an overseas collector for a new world record price of $192,275.
The same auction offered historical typewriters, including an 1873 Sholes & Glidden model by E. Remington & Sons, Ilion, N.Y., which sold for $24,000. Described as the world’s first typewriter produced in series, the “Writing Ball” by Pastor Malling Hansen from 1867 went for $55,000 into a new private overseas collection.
Other top prices were paid for a rare American Hamilton automatic typewriter from 1887, which went for $19,230 back to America into a private collection. And the legendary cipher machine of World War II – the “Enigma” – went for $18,000 to a bidder from the Far East.
A rare and desirable Norwegian deluxe-telephone from 1885 changed hands for a new high of $9,000. And a nearly prehistoric looking Swedish flat iron set a new world record price at $7,800.
The rare American gambling machine with musical box, a Mills: On the Square from 1905, went from France via Germany to Switzerland for $13,800. What was billed as the world’s first studio tape recorder, invented in 1939 by German AEG in Berlin, sold for surprisingly high $4,000.
The self-playing Orchestrion by Paul Loesche, Leipzig, from 1920, in need of a full restoration still made $13,220, and went from an old Egyptian Harem House to a new private Swiss home.
A salesman’s sample of a steam fire engine from about 1880 by French manufacturer Radiguet, Paris made $10,815.
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