Collectible Scientific Instruments
Collectible scientific instruments are an unusual genre of collectibles but one that is quite interesting. Amongst many other things, collectible scientific instruments are a wonderful way to experience the growth of mankind through the ages. Collectible scientific instruments are complex, simple and extremely different to anything that you may see today, making them absolute pieces of art, to own.
From the 1400's, the days of the early scientific instruments, till today, there have been vast modifications to instruments that have been a part of making our daily lives better and simpler. The materials, designs and technological nuances of these collectible scientific instruments has evolved so rapidly that anything that is a few years old, quickly becomes obsolete. The pace of making things obsolete has just quickened and that means that the number of items that get added to the collectible scientific instruments' list just keeps getting bigger.
Of course, when we talk of collectible scientific instruments, we aren't referring to the first MRI machine or a large cement mixer. Even though these are instruments of science, they are more in the "equipment" category. When dealing with collectible scientific instruments, you will find a number of items that are in manageable sizes, and costs, which have the potential of taking your collection to the next level.
Medical instruments are amongst the more popular collectible scientific instruments that are sought by hobbyists. This is mainly for the large number of medical instruments that came into being as well as the fact that medicine was amongst the first areas of science where instruments were used. Medical instruments, such as stethoscopes, scalpels, needles, syringes, etc. have become extremely popular scientific instruments and may also be quite easy to find.
Astronomy has also been a science that has been eagerly practiced over the years. Telescopes, lenses, charts and rulers are amongst the numerous collectible scientific instruments that this line of work has to offer. If you are looking for something more down to earth, various mining instruments and gauges have been regularly used over the years along with heavy mining equipment.
Compasses, Globes, Abacuses and much more have been used through the ages to solve scientific problems and traverse through life. Sliding bars, the first computers to be used for calculation, have been a part of human life for generations, making them quite valuable as collectible scientific instruments.
How to find collectible Scientific Instruments
Once you know what to look for, the next question is where to find them. The answer is quite simple, to be honest. Any place where you can find old stuff, you are guaranteed to find some collectible scientific instruments. Flea markets will have a number of shops that sell old tools and equipment; you are likely to find something useful there. Antique stores are also quite popular although the pricing of the items you find here might be more than what you are willing to pay.
Most people, who look at garage sales to get their stuff, might find it hard to find anything complex. However, you may still find some interesting items such as the odd sextant or a wonderful old microscope.
There are certain stores that specialize in collectible scientific instruments but since they are there to make a profit, chances are that you will be robbed blind if you go there. You can, on trips to other places, look for these items in local markets that might throw up something that you may not find in your own city, country or continent even.
Depending on what you base your collection on, the items require different ways of care. For e.g. a simple warm soap-water bath might be enough for some of your protractors and old plastic or metal instruments however, wooden items might just look for nothing more than a simple wipe down, probably with a dry cloth.
Remember to store these collectible scientific instruments away safely especially because some of them can really grow as investments and be worth a small fortune in no time and perfect shape.
While profit is rarely a motivation for people looking at collectible scientific instruments, the fascination to learn how things worked has been usually more of a cause for pursuing such items. Irrespective of what your motivation is, you will enjoy every bit of your collectible scientific instruments collection.