Few people have heard of it, yet many consider John Blankenbaker's KENBAK-1 to be the first commercial personal computer.

Koss introduced these headphones over 40 years ago, and they remain affordable favorites to this day.

Large Gear Mystery

I found these large wooden gears at a thrift store not long ago.  They're gorgeous and old, but I can't figure out anything more about them.  As you can see, they're quite big.  The gears above are roughly the same size as the back tire of my compact car.  The large wheel in the grass below is smooth (maybe for use with a belt?) and about 2 feet across.

These look like they've seen some use, but don't seem sturdy enough to actually have been used in a large mechanical device.  How did they get worn in this way?  Also interesting is the writing on the sides.  These look like they could be catalog numbers perhaps?  Like these were the example gears at the... uh... gear depot where you'd place your order?  In-class science demonstration props?

Gears_02As a boy I remember accompanying my father to the marble cutting plant he worked with.  They had ancient and massive machines for slowly (we're talking days) sawing through slabs of marble that were two stories high.  The large saws had massive wooden flywheels and exposed parts much the size of these things, so these gears must have been intended for something very, very large.

I'm calling out to all of you retro sleuths out there.  The comments that you folks leave show that our readers have a lot of insight into a staggering number of different areas, so I'm hoping that some of you may have an idea of what these gears were used for.  I love a mystery, but mostly I love a solved mystery.  Click the "comments" link below to add your thoughts.


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