TOO MANY TRASH TREASURES TO TRACK: Vintage counting wheel comes to the rescue
I’ve gotten so many antiques out of the garbage, I can’t even count them. Good thing I have this counting wheel.
I found it in an old manufacturing plant in Long Island City, New York, when I was giving an estimate for an interior demolition. Figures, considering these counters were used in factories to count the number of times a machine made a product.
Today, this is done with lasers and digital clocks, but years ago, factory workers would set it at zero and manually change the number as their production increased throughout the day. Once the counter hit the company’s production goal, the workers knew when to stop.
The space where I found it was a massive manufacturing plant that had closed down years ago and had been vacant ever since. I guess the landlord couldn’t find anyone to take over the rent of such a huge space, so it’s going to be converted into a residential building.
The counting wheel was hidden in a machinery storage cabinet, and simply by the look of it, I knew it had been there for a while. The weight alone (it was heavy!) told me that we were looking at 80-plus years. Plus, the style of the wheels resemble those of trucks from decades ago. They were merely rubber glued to a steel rim — no air, no nothing.
The point? This counting wheel is old.
I wish I knew more about it, but I’m sure of one thing: Apple’s not gonna be using one of these any time soon.