Friday, April 1, 2022

Heavy precision instrument, a Nova Brunsviga

Arrived recently:

After taking the item out of the padded shipping box, it's still completely wrapped in buffering material. The seller thankfully took extra care, using the online packaging advice provided by an experienced collector of mechanical calculators. The extra buffering held in place on the machine helped to prevent any of the cranks taking the mass of the machine during transport handling.

The padding removed; revealed is a mid 1920s Nova Brunsviga calculator Model II. The machine is dusty and dirty, but it is complete.

This is a common model; about 10,000 Nova Model IIs were made and today these are not rare. It's quite a large machine and surprisingly heavy at well over 12 kg - built like a freight engine; precise to fine tolerances, large and exceptionally robust. 

This calculator appears to have survived the (always risky) shipping well, just as it seems to have weathered the past 90-odd years quite well. It is very stiff with congealed lubricant - from reading about other Nova's online this seems a common theme, so possibly it's the factory-original oil. 

Although everything is stiff and reluctant to move, a brief check showed that all functions still work correctly as they should - a quality machine!

Taking a quick peek inside the calculator by taking off the front-cover suggests that this calculator is 'unmolested' and in original condition. The dirt on the plus-minus indicator vane will have taken decades to collect through the small indicator opening. This calculator has not been serviced (or opened) for decades, although the wear-pattern of the paint shows it's been well-used originally.

This will be a fascinating machine to tweak back to shape - it will however have to wait for a bit, on the shelf for now.

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