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History

Two iconic automobiles will go under the hammer in June - a 1912 Rolls-Royce Double Pullma...

Each year the Goodwood Festival of Speed hosts an auction by Bonhams, and due to the importance of the event and the unique crowd it draws, the best come out to play. This year there are two stand-outs going under the hammer: the first is the 1912 Rolls-Royce Double Pullman Limousine (estimated GBP2,000,000/US$3,147,000) which was reproduced in the popular Corgi Classics series of widely circulated die-cast toy cars, the second being the personal 1938 Type 57C of the Ettore Bugatti, lovingly built for Le Patron by his staff.  Read More

Copper negative of an October 1881 phonograph (Photo: Patrick Feaster/National Museum of A...

Recently, and for the first time in living memory, sound recordings made in 1881 at Alexander Graham Bell's Volta Laboratory Association have been heard aloud. The experimental phonographs made by the association where Bell worked alongside instrument-maker Charles Sumner Tainter and chemist Chichester A. Bell are thought to be the oldest preserved sound recordings intended for playback.  Read More

Germany's Autovision Museum has built a replica of the Ayrton and Perry electric car - whi...

As more and more mainstream car manufacturers join a new wave of electric vehicle development, it looks like we're definitely headed for an electric transport future. While powering a car with an electric motor is not exactly a new innovation, you may be surprised to learn exactly how old the technology is. A team led by Horst Schultz - the director and founder of Germany's Autovision Museum - has spent the last year or so painstakingly recreating the world's first street-ready electric car, designed and created by English scientists William Ayrton and John Perry, and which first hit the streets in 1881.  Read More

Hublot's miniature replica of the Antikythera mechanism

Why on Earth would you want to strap one of these to your wrist? It barely tells the time, and it can't take pictures, tweet or connect to your Facebook. In fact, very few people would have the faintest idea what it is, or why you'd want one at all. But for those that do recognize its intricate gears and dials, this tiny, complex piece of machinery tells a vivid and incredible tale. It's a story of gigantic scientific upheaval, of adventure and shipwreck on the high seas, of war and death. A story of amazing intellect, lost riches and impossible chance - a sunken treasure that Jaques Cousteau once described as "more valuable than the Mona Lisa" - and it's connected with an ancient celebrity whose star shone so brightly that he's still a household name more than 2200 years after his death... Read on!  Read More

Roper Steam Cycle set to become most expensive motorcycle ever sold at auction

One of the world's most valuable motorcycles will go under the hammer early next year. Built by Sylvester H. Roper, one of two people with legitimate claims of having invented the motorcycle. Though built in 1894, 27 years after the first Roper Steam Motorcycle, the machine is one of a very small number of motorcycles built by Roper (around nine), and was ridden by him regularly before his death in 1896. The Roper Steam Cycle hence has a provenance of massive historical importance, and is expected to establish a new world record for a motorcycle sold at auction in Las Vegas on January 12 – 14.  Read More

World's oldest running car sells for US$4.6 million

The historically-significant 1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout which we wrote up a few weeks back has sold at auction for US$4.62 million. Apart from being the winner of the first automobile race in history, it's also the world’s oldest running motor car, and now also the most valuable early motor car yet sold at auction.  Read More

1884 De Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout

This 1884 de Dion Bouton et Trepardoux Dos-a-Dos Steam Runabout was one Count de Dion's second prototype and can lay claim to having "won" the world's first automobile race. Although it takes more than half an hour to "steam" before it can be driven and needs "watering" every 20 miles, it is nonetheless, one of the most significant automobiles in history ... and it's for sale. Extensive detailed photo gallery.  Read More

The camera is equipped with a 116mm f/8 lens, f8 to f22 aperture lens, featuring manual fo...

Photojojo is known for offering unusual cameras for enthusiasts such as the Holga Twin Image Maker and NeinGrenze 5000T dedicated tilt-shift camera. The online store has released yet another treat for fans - the legendary Polaroid SX-70 camera that was originally manufactured in the years 1972-1977. The cameras being offered have all been restored to working condition and integral instant film is also available.  Read More

Less than 1500 copies of the Liber chronicarum (Nuremberg Chronicle) were printed in Latin...

It’s easy to become blasé in the ubiquitous, 24-7 avalanche of information in which we live our lives – the challenge now is about filtering, organizing and synthesizing information into a useful and relevant form. Think back though to an earlier time when the very first books became available to the public, when the treasure trove of knowledge in our pocket that we take for granted simply did not exist. A book coming up for auction, the Liber Chronicarum (1493), was one of the very first history books available, one of the first printed illustrated books available and its scope is remarkable given it was produced 500 years ago.  Read More

Sections of the historic 15th century Fibonacci manuscript are going to be put up for auct...

A collection of revered mathematical works will soon be put to auction in New York, including significant pieces of the Liber Abaci or Book of Calculation by Fibonacci. Esteemed as one of the most brilliant mathematicians in Western history, Leonardo Pisano Bigollo (Fibonacci) was one of the first to explain Arabic numerals, the superiority of these numerals and the importance of zero. Above all it was Fibonacci's work that has helped modern day mathematicians find breakthroughs in mathematical equations, whilst also defining sequences used for computer programming and the financial markets.  Read More

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